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ASSESSMENT OF HEALTH NEED FOR INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The definition of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) most commonly used comes from the United Nations (UN) guiding principles on internal displacement. The guiding principles define IDPs as “persons or group of persons who have been forced or obligated to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a situation of generalized violence, violation of human rights, or natural or man-made disasters and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border. They are often referred to as “refugees” although they do not fall within the current legal definition of refugees (International Committee for the Red Cross, 2010
). Internal displacement affecting about 25 million people worldwide has become increasingly recognized as one of the most tragic phenomena of the contemporary world. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced due to conflict every year globally (UNHCR, 2013). Forced to flee from their homes in search of protection, some are able to find refuge with families and friends, but some are crowded into camps where they become further violent, mental stress and disease (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 2013).
The Norwegian refugee council (NRC) describes the ripple effect of Boko Haram’s violence in a recent briefing in which it has identified three emerging patterns of displacement. The first is of internally displaced (IDPs) fleeing to the south of the country in the footsteps of economic migrants, the second is of people fleeing from rural to urban areas within their states and the third if of secondary displacement of both IDPs and host communities who move once again when their resources have been depleted (NRC, 2014).
Since 2011, the population of the north eastern Nigerian states have been affected by the insurgency between Boko Haram and governmental forces. The government declared a state of emergency (SOE) on 14th may, 2013 in three north eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa (UNICEF, 2015). Insurgent attacks by Islamic Boko Haram militants increased dramatically from mid-2014 Rushing, and Joe, 2014).
After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram’s increasing radicalization led to violent uprising in July 2009 in which its leader Mohammed Yusuf was summarily executed. Its expected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September, 2010 was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, it has killed 20,000 and displaced 2.3 million from their homes Tiffen, 2009). This had resulted in to serious psychosocial problem for IDPs.
The displaced are faced with family’s breakup and communities tiers. They are unemployed, limited access to land, education, food and shelter. Displacement disrupts the live not only the individual and families concerned but the society as a whole. Both the areas left by the displaced and new settlement also suffer.
Camps are set up to meet emergency needs of displacement apart from those that may decide to live with relations and friends outside the camps. However camps settings are associated with challenges especially when the displaced overstayed more than expected period in the camp.
When aid/assistance from the government and other donors agencies were no longer adequate and other needs of the displace starts to emerge.
The situation of inadequate aid/assistance and overstayed displaced in the camp calls for upgrading temporary settlement and improving access to basic services and livelihood opportunities (community development).
Community development in emergency situation thus is the provision and accessibility of necessities of life while in the camp such as health services, education, provision of skill acquisition programmes, improvement on the acquired skill to meet the societal demands all geared towards improving the condition of living within the camp.
The camp which now serves as the community of the displaced need to be developed to serve the developmental needs of the displaced.
Education provides physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection that can be both lifesaving and life sustaining. It offers safe space for learning as well as ability to identify and provide support for affected individual particularity children and adolescents. Education mitigates the psychosocial impact of conflict and disaster by giving a sense of normality, stability (Ferris and Winthrop 2010). According to Zerrougui, education in emergency situation saves lives and it serves as a major component of strategies for child protection. It provides children with live saving information; sustain progress already made by patents and communities. In fact, education in emergency situation gives hope and reduces the trauma already suffered.
Another area of community development in emergency situation is health. Displacement of persons has major consequences on the health of the displaced. Apart from the fear and trauma, the new settlement (camps) is often compounded with environmental health issues that affect the health of the displaced. In most cases, children and women are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition diseases and violence. The displaced are faced with overcrowding, poor water and sanitation facilities resulting to diarrheal, acute respiratory infections, malaria, meningitis.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Lack of effective health facilities in Maiduguri is one of the major problems influencing the provision of health need to internally displaced persons (IDP).
The activity of the much dreaded Boko Haram sect has tampered with the peace and harmony of Nigeria as a nation and Borno in particular. The victims of war, battle, clash or conflict are not just those who die in the battle, those who live to tell the story live with pains and memories that may never make them remain the same again.
Above and beyond, the displaced persons at the camps have seen a lighter shade of death with the hardship and sufferings they have endured in recent times. Some of them are lost and have no suspicion of the where about of their loved ones. Living in the IDP camp is enough reason for them to be unhappy and upset when they used to be major business owners and land owners. This study, however, intends to find out the information health needs of the IDPs at Maiduguri camps in Borno State.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the Assessment of health need for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri. The specific objectives include the following:
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