from AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI – HEALTH workers in Nigeria are reportedly afraid to attend to refugees displaced by the Boko Haram northeast of the country.
They fear these internally displaced people (IDPs) would infect them with the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Health workers are afraid to serve IDPs,” a spokesperson of the United Nations country team (UNCT) lamented.
“Both men and women reported that accessing health services at the clinic is difficult because health workers are afraid the IDP population may infect them with the virus.”
This is the latest setback for refugees in a country where more than 40 percent of health infrastructure is damaged due to the conflict and severely limiting health access.
Boko Haram, the Islamist group, is responsible for the destruction. The terror sect is unleashing violence as a means of establishing an Islamic state northeast of Nigeria.
Even before the impact of the COVID- 19, the crisis in northeastern Nigeria is one of the most severe in the world today.
More than 7,9 million out of 13 million people needed humanitarian assistance in the worst affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
This is an increase of 11 percent from 2019.
A majority (79 percent) of displaced populations are women and children.
The worsening outbreak of COVID-19 is compounding this crisis.
Nigeria at the time of publication had 43 841 cases of COVID-19.
At least 888 people had died.
Men make up a majority (68 percent) of the cases in Africa’s most populous country of an estimated 200 million people.
– CAJ News