By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna
Team of health workers comprising COVID -19 research group of the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, 44 Nigerian Army Hospital in partnership with a Non- Governmental Organization (NGO), Odumehaje Christian Medical Mission (OCMM), has paid a working visit to the internally displaced persons camp, IDPs in Zonkwa – Kaduna State.
Leader of the team, Dr. Odumu Paul. A. said the visit became imperative following the need to provide sucour to the internally displaced persons where humanitarian services such as free medical treatment, provision of relief materials and medical facilities, as well as sensitization and awareness lectures on COVID – 19 Prevention were delivered.
The team lead, also the Chief Consultant on Family Physician at 44 Army Hospital-Kaduna, cautioned them on the need to be safety conscious by adhering strictly to the infection prevention and control measures put in place by government to avert spread of the virus at the IDP camp.
The Principal Investigator, COVID-19 and CEO OCMM, said the relief materials such as foodstuff, clothings, drugs and hand washing buckets were provided by OCMM, while the free medical care awareness lectures on COVID_19 prevention and surveys came from the Research team on COVID-19.
Speaking also, during the medical outreach, member of the Kaduna State Emergency Operations Center on COVID -19, Dr. Zainab Idris Kwaru expressed regrets that conflict had exposed many communities to the risk of contracting communicable diseases in large numbers particularly the vulnerable population of women and children, adolescents, the elderly and persons living with disabilities
Dr. Zainab Idris Kwaru who is also a member of the COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community engagement as well as Research Pillar, explained that the research team in its efforts to contain and prevent the community spread of COVID-19 was carrying out an assessment of preventive measures for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Kaduna State.
According to Dr. Zainab Kwaru, the Assessment findings would be used to better prepare those affected by the crisis and those infected with the virus to enable them remain safe and equipped to prevent the spread of the infection among those in the camp and environs.
She pointed out that it would further be used to plan, implement and evaluate for impact, strategies and interventions for better health service delivery as well as guarantee the survival of those in IDP camps, conflict-affected communities and the entire state.
The Coordinator of Mercy IDPs Camp Zonkwa, Reverend Gambo Waziri who stressed the need for more government intervention especially in the area of security to prevent further destruction of lives and property, said the camp is inhabited by over six thousand displaced persons from 28 communities, majorly women and children, noting that there were 58 pregnant women of which seven had given birth in the camp with record of two infant mortality.
He called the government to fastrack efforts in providing medical care to address the medical needs of victims alongside empowering them and rebuilding their burnt houses for them to resettle back to their communities.
Earlier, the Research Pillar of the team, Dr. Zainab Idris while conducting a survey, identified four key preventive measures such as: respiratory and hand hygiene, physical distancing and use of face masks to combat the virus in the camp.
Some of the beneficiaries at the camp, Philomena Paul and Sarah Ayuba who expressed gratitude to the Research team on COVID-19 and members of the Non Governmental Organization for their efforts appealed to government and international community to come to their aid by providing them with building materials, health facilities and security to enable them rebuild and resettle back to their various communities.