The international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also known as Doctors Without Borders in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health (SMoH) has expanded the capacity of its inpatient treatment facility for malnourished children to 565 beds to respond to an increasing influx of the patients in Katsina state.The capacity is increased through opening of 80-bed Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Centre (ITFC) including 30 bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Dr. Yusha’u Armaya’u Maternal and Paediatric Health Facility in Kofar Sauri and the extension at Turai Ummaru YarAdua Maternity and Children Hospital in Katsina, the state capital.Governor of Katsina State Aminu Bello Masari together with MSF team inaugurated the new ward in a ceremony, also attended by the commissioner of health, royal fathers, volunteers, and others on Monday.MSF teams has been witnessing an alarming rise in admissions of malnourished children in its facilities in Katsina since the start of the year. In June, the team had to quickly increase their inpatient capacity to 280 beds, but the influx of malnourished children was so significant both in outpatient and inpatient that restricted admission criteria had to be introduced for some outpatient treatment centres.Between January and July, MSF teams in Katsina have admitted and treated over five thousand children suffering from severe malnutrition with complications under its inpatient programme while about 50 thousand children have so far been enrolled under the outpatient program with currently more 20,000 children in the cohort for of follow up.“We had to put in place temporary structures by way of extension at the Turai YarAdua Hospital to effectively manage and treat the increasing number of children suffering from malnutrition, and further expand the bed capacity at Kofar Sauri”, says Hassan Issa, MSF Emergency Coordinator in Katsina, Nigeria. “We are working in collaboration with the state government and our teams are ready to treat up to 100,000 malnourished children this year in our nutrition programme in Katsina state alone.”Katsina is one of the chronically food-insecure states in Northwest Nigeria with a low level of coverage in terms of malnutrition case management. The state is going through escalating levels of violence and displacement have pushed many communities to their limits. In recent years, armed groups that are locally referred to as ‘bandits’ have intensified attacks, killings, kidnappings, lootings and sexual violence. Many people cannot farm, cattle are stolen, and markets and trade are disrupted amidst soaring staple food prices – which remain above the five-year average in most Nigerian markets– in an already fragile health context.“The lean season or hunger gap is approaching its peak, and the malaria transmission is further deteriorating the health and nutritional status with more severe cases admitted that need intensive medical care (blood transfusion, perfusion, NG tube to feed children etc) in inpatients.” says Hassan Issa. .MSF teams support in the treatment of malaria through test and treat for outpatients with about 800 treated since the beginning of July. MSF also continues to support Jibia IDPs with drug donations and in July about 500 consultation was done from which 70 percent were children under five years old. “We have reached at our maximum capacity, and the patients are still arriving in large numbers. We again strongly urge all other health and humanitarian actors to immediately take steps to address the alarming inflow of the malnourished children.”If the current humanitarian assistance lags far behind in northwest Nigeria, that’s partly because the UN have failed to include the region in its humanitarian response plan for the country for the current year, which primarily focuses on the critical situation in the northeast. As a result, many organisations are struggling to follow up on assessments and secure funding to implement lifesaving support in northwest Nigeria, despite the known acute needs.Other than Katsina, MSF teams has been providing treatment to malnourished children in Kano, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states. We are supporting 8 inpatient and 31 outpatient facilities across five states in the Northwest. In MSF run or supported outpatient nutrition centres, almost 53,000 patients of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and about 25,000 patients of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) were admitted between January and end of July 2022.Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF first started working in Nigeria in 1996, and currently provides healthcare services in 11 states across the country.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed food items to 1,241 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa.
The Spokesman of the agency, Malam Hafizu Bello, stated this during the inauguration of food distribution exercise at the Malkoni IDPs camp, on Friday in Yola. He said that about 202 households displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents had took refuge in the camp since September 2014. He listed the food items to include bags of rice; beans, maize grits, cooking oil, seasoning and tomato paste.
Malam Lawal Maida, a displaced person, lauded the Federal Government for ensure regular supply of food and drugs to them.
“W are victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, and we hailed from Gwoza LGA of Borno,” he said.
He advocated for skills acquisition programme to empower the IDPs to enable them to achieve self sufficiency, adding that, “we remain grateful to the government and the host community for their hospitality”.
Also speaking, Rakiya Mohammed, commended the agency for the gesture and pledged to ensure effective utilisation of the commodities to fend for her family members.
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) on Friday took a medical outreach to persons of concern at Waru IDPs camp as part of its social responsibility.
The Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, Hajia Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, at the even on Friday said the commission targeted no fewer than 275 persons of concern to benefit from the programme.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that the idea was to ensure total health inclusion of the persons of concern in the country.
“I’m so excited about the new medical insurance bill that made it mandatory for free medical care for the vulnerable and this includes persons of concern.
“So, once that becomes publicly implemented and the trust fund activated, we will make the right assessment ready to deploy and migrate persons of concern to the National Health Scheme.
” According to her, health is wealth, life and everything, hence the need for the inclusion of everyone when it comes to affordability and accessibility of healthcare.
She said the exercise, which is called ‘Total Health’ and a pilot phase would be extended to other states with time.
“We check every aspect of their health, the eyes and the general health and also through this we will be able to strengthen the health facilities in the host communities.
” The commissioner also advised the beneficiaries to utilise the opportunity for their total health being, while encouraging them to invite others to participate in the exercise to maximise value.
She, therefore, appreciated the medical team for their service to humanity.
Prof. Kabir Oladigbolu, an Ophthalmologist at ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria said that the exercise would help to address the health issues of IDPs in the country.
Oladigbolu said that the one-week programme was set to bring relief to people who had been displaced from their original homes due to insurgency and terrorism.
“We are here to examine their eyes, vision, eye pressures and those that require glasses will be given as well as treatments,” he said.
According to him, surgery will equally be carried out for who require minor surgery on their eyes and all are free.
Dr Abdullahi Kazaure, a General Physician at Maitama District Hospital said that the programme was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals to include all peoples of venerability into free healthcare scheme by year 2030. Kazaure commended the commissioner for creating the opportunity for persons of concern to have free health care.
A Dei-Dei Grade I Area Court in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced a 25-year-old painter, Chikwudi Nwadike, to ten months imprisonment for stealing N48,000 from a POS operator’s bank account.
Nwadike, who lives in IDP Camp Area In Abuja, pleaded guilty to theft and begged the court for leniency.
The Judge, Mr Sulyman Ola, gave the convict an option to pay a fine of 30,000. Ola also ordered the convict to pay the complainant N12, 000. Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Chinedu Ogada told the court that the complainant, Olatuji Kehinde of Jahi I, Abuja reported the matter at the Mabushi Police Station on July 13 Ogada said that on July 12 at about 3p.
m, the convict approached the complainant’s POS stand under the pretence to withdraw money.
He said in the convict used his newspaper, covered the complainant ‘s cell phone and dishonestly made away with the phone.
He said the convict used the complainant’s sim card and transferred N36,000 from his UBA account.
The prosecutor said the convict also used the the sim card to borrow 12,000 from the complainant’s UBA account.
Ogada said that during police investigation the cell phone was tracked and the convict was arrested.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 287 of Penal Code. (
Alhaji Sabiu Mai-tan, Chairman, Jibia Local Government Coucil of Katsina State, said the state government has released N106 million to faciltate resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes.
Mai-tan said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Jibia, on Wednesday.
According to him, the bandits sacked the IDPs from various villages of the local government area.
“The IDPs subsequently fled and took refuge in Government Girls Secondary, Jibia,” he said.
He said the amount was meant to rebuild houses, provide logistics, medication and food for the IDPs as they resettled in their places.
The chairman, however, said the displaced persons were mostly from Shinfida village and adjourning communities.
“The state government felt the IDPs should be moved back to their communities, hence the release of the fund.
“While taking the decision, adequate security measures were put in place to avert re-occurance of the unfortunate incident.
“We procured 20,000 (5kg) bags of maize and food ingredients for the victims, they will not meet food in their houses because they did not farm this year.
“We will continue to buy food and other relief item for the victims from the funds released to the local government council,” he said.
He said as part of security measures, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the military should be stationed to guard Shinfida and other communities until normalcy returned.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the IDPs were escorted on Monday by military trucks providing security to them.
Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, Coordinator, Kano Territorial Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that the agency received 13 Nigerians from Khartoum, Sudan.
Abdullahi disclosed this while receiving the returnees in Kano on Tuesday.
The returnees arrived at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport at about 3:00 p.
m. on Tuesday on an Ethiopian Airline Aircraft, with flight number ET343. Abdullahi noted that the returnees were returned to Nigeria by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) initiative on migrant protection and re-integration and European Union, under the Assisted Voluntary Returnees Programme.
“The returnees were brought back through a voluntary programme for the distressed, who had left the country to seek for greener pastures in various European countries and could not afford to return when their journey became frustrated.
“The returnees included five female adults and eight children (three female and five male) from Jigawa and Kano. According to him, the returnees will be trained for four days to be self-reliant and will be given grants to enable them to meet expenses of initial settling down.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the returnees were given food, toiletries, blankets, mosquito nets, pampers and clothes each.
Abdullahi advised Nigerians to avoid endangering their lives by travelling to seek for greener pastures in other countries, adding that no country was better than Nigeria.
He further explained that the agency, between May and July, had received 367 stranded Nigerians from Agadez (Niger Republic) and trained them on various skills acquisition.
A returnee, Amina Ibrahim, 60, from Kano State, and a mother of four, said she travelled to Sudan to search for greener pastures.
” I was a business woman before I left Nigeria with people’s N8 million debt with me.
“I went to Sudan to seek for greener pasture, thinking that I will be able to get enough money to pay them back and continue with my business.
“In Sudan you have to beg before you can get money to eat.
I really suffered,” Ibrahim said.
NAN reports that the returnees were received by NEMA, with other sister security agencies including Nigerian Red Cross, SEMA, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs and DSS.
PRNigeria, an Image Merchant Promotion outfit, has called on the Federal Government, Red Cross Society and other humanitarian agencies to assist IDPs in Kagara and Chonoko communities in Niger and Kebbi states.
Mukhtar Madobi, an investigation staff member of the organisation, made the call during a roundtable Media Interface and Presentation of a report on Humanitarian Situations in Kebbi and Niger states on Friday in Abuja.
He said the over 10,000 IDPs in Chonoko community in Kebbi were living under hardship as they had no basic necessities of life.
Madobi said most of the schools in the community were closed down due to the fear of attacks by bandits, adding that some of the schools in town had been turned into IDP camps.
“This has sent a lot of students out of classes, leading to increased number of out-of-school children in the area.
” Chonoko community is suffering from lack of water; investigations show that residents and IDPs usually battle for water from the two available boreholes.
People spend nights to queue for water.
“IDPs are living in a crowded shelter, for example, 20 people are sharing a single room.
NEMA are trying their best, but the items don’t get to the vulnerable communities and people.
“Government and security forces should sustain effort towards restoring peace and security to affected communities.
” He called on NEMA, Red Cross, International Donors and NGOs to provide adequate shelters to the IDPs.“Also, education should be rescued and medical supplies be considered to ensure sound healthcare delivery,” Madobi said.
On Kagara community in Niger, Madobi said residents were assisting victims of bandit attacks with foods and materials, adding that most IDPs were engaged in businesses to sustain their lives.
According to him, security has improved in Kagara, but that bandits are still attacking the surrounding villages.
He said the Vigilantes were not well equipped with good weapons which reduced their efforts in confronting the bandits.
“We also discovered that farmers were paying levies to bandits to have access to their farms and conduct farming activities, thus, farming has been affected, leading to food crisis.
“Most schools in Kagara are closed and the only General Hospital is providing skeletal services because medical personnel usually refuse posting to the community, because of fear of bandit attacks.
He appealed to Federal Government to boost security in villages by providing sophisticated weapons to vigilantes.
He also said that security personnel should be posted to critical infrastructure like schools and hospitals to encourage teachers and health personnel posted to the community.
Speaking, the Head, Press Unit of NEMA, Mr Manzo Ekekiel, said the Agency was committed to the sustainable provision of relief materials to IDPs, especially those affected by insecurity and other disasters across the country.
Ezekiel said the Agency had put in place necessary measures to ensure seamless and hitch-free distribution of relief materials to the communities affected by insecurity challenges and other disasters such as flooding across the countryHe underscored the need for synergy between the Agency, Security Agencies, State Governments and Community Leaders to have unfettered access to the IDPs camps.
“The Kagara that we were discussing here and Chonoko, their locations are within the same general areas, so the DG has a cause to go to Kotongora to go and flag off the relief distribution there.
“Kagara is under our Minna Office, and I am aware that a lot of relief materials approved by the Agency have been delivered to the IDPs there.
“Also, Chonoko is under our office in Sokoto and I am also aware that our Coordinator there has delivered the relief materials approved at that location too.
“I want to say, in fact, there must be strategic reasons why PRNigeria picked on these two communities.
“But I must say here that not only these two communities are affected by insurgency and displacement of persons.
Recently, we were in Plateau to deliver materials to people affected by gunmen in Kanam Local Government,” Ezekiel said.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Campbell of the US Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) visited Ethiopia this week to visit refugee camps and gain a deeper understanding of the refugee experience in the country.
She visited the Nguenyyiel refugee camp in Gambella on August 1-2, 2022.
She was then joined by Fiona Evans, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the US Embassy in Addis Ababa on a visit to Semera, Afar region on August 3, 2022.
She ended her time in Ethiopia by visiting sites in Addis Ababa.
In the Gambella region, DAS Campbell met with the Regional Vice President, Thankuey Jock. She shared the challenges and opportunities facing refugees and host communities in her region.
She then joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Refugee and Returnee Service (RRS) team to visit the Nguenyyiel refugee camp.
At the camp, she met with refugee leaders residing there to better understand their concerns.
She also visited the health centre, the International Medical Corps (IMC) women and girls friendly space and the Plan International child friendly space in the camp.
Finally, the delegation toured refugee-supported agricultural sites and the ZOA Daily Cow Distribution Project.
In Semera, Afar region, DAS Campbell and DCM Evans met with the mayor of Semera, Abdu Musa, and the coordinator of the food security program for disaster prevention, Mohammed Husento.
They discussed their concerns about the issues facing communities in the region and Ethiopia as a whole, especially in relation to the reception and accommodation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The mayor thanked the delegation for the continued vital support of the US government to the Afar and the people of Ethiopia.
The delegation traveled to the Serdo refugee site where they spoke with the UNHCR team managing the camp and members of the community living there.
They visited climate shelters, US government-funded water and sanitation facilities, the GOAL nutrition center, and the mill, all important components of refugee protection and well-being.
They held private conversations with women residing in the camp to gain a deeper understanding of their lives and how the American people can continue to help.
On his last day in Ethiopia, DAS Campbell met with refugees seeking resettlement in the United States at UNHCR's Resettlement Interview Building in Addis Ababa, established with PRM funding.
She then headed to a community center for urban refugees operated by the Jesuit Refugee Service, where she observed English and computer classes and participated with young refugees.
“The whole family was in the field working when the shooting started.
We fled and walked for three hours to Rumangabo in the rain,” says Ponsie Benda, 54.
“We couldn't go back to the house.
We left with what we had on us”.
As clashes between the armed group M23 and the Congolese army closed in on his village, the father of 13 children found refuge in the Virunga National Park primary school in Rumangabo in June. 190,000 people in need Like Ponsie, more than 190,000 people have had to flee their homes since the end of March 2022 in the Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories of North Kivu province, following the resurgence of the armed group M23 and intermittent clashes with the Congolese Army. PONSIE BENDA (RIGHT), 54, HIS WIFE of hers AND 13 CHILDREN WERE DISPLACED AFTER THE FIGHT CLOSER TO THEIR HOMETOWN “We slept outside.
I built this shelter with wooden sticks.
We eat boiled leaves from Monday to Sunday.
My wife takes them from people's fields, asking the owners first.
There is mutual help because the community knows how much we are suffering”.
Most people have gathered along the national highway linking Rutshuru to Goma, the capital of North Kivu, often in overcrowded places.
“We slept outside.
I built this shelter with wooden sticks.
I'm going to get banana and eucalyptus leaves to cover it.
That way at least the kids will be a little bit protected,” says Ponsie.
When he and his family arrived in Rumangabo, the school classrooms were already full and they had no choice but to settle in the courtyard.
At the Rugabo stadium in the center of Rutshuru, more than 1,400 families have gathered.
UNHCR has built community shelters, but even so, conditions remain extremely precarious: some 35 families share an 18-by-5-meter tent.
“When it rains, the water floods the ground in the shelters and we spend the night in the water,” says Agrippine N'Maganya, 53, who arrived in Rutshuru with six of her 10 children more than four months ago.
"The others must be in Uganda by now...
I haven't heard from them since the flight," she says.
“The proximity in internally displaced persons (IDP) sites, combined with the lack of showers and latrines, is a major risk factor for the spread of infectious diseases such as measles or cholera,” says Bénédicte Lecoq, Médecins Sans Frontières ( MSF) emergency coordinator.
Stomachs are empty Adding to the lack of shelter is the lack of food.
“We have nothing to eat.
Sometimes people I know from my village give me some food that they collected in the neighbourhoods,” says Obed Mashabi, 20, who found refuge in the Rugabo stadium at the end of March.
"We eat boiled leaves from Monday to Sunday," adds Ponsie.
“My wife takes them from other people's fields, asking the owners first.
There is mutual help because the community knows how much we are suffering.
They share what little they have.” “The people we treat have empty stomachs,” says Lecoq.
“It is essential to increase food distributions or the situation could get even worse.” At the Rutshuru general referral hospital, the MSF-supported unit for severely malnourished children has been full for several weeks, with a bed occupancy rate of 140%.
In the health structures that our teams are supporting in the Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories, the average number of consultations often exceeds 100 per day.
The three main diseases observed are malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhoea.
“Given the magnitude of the needs, our teams cannot be everywhere.
Health structures are overwhelmed and face a serious lack of medicines.
In the face of this emergency, more actors must be mobilized to ensure that all people can access care,” says Lecoq.
OBED MASHABI, 20, FOUND SHELTER IN RUGABO STADIUM AT THE END OF MARCH “We don't have anything to eat.
Sometimes people I know from my town give me some food that they collected in the neighborhoods.
We have food in the village, in the fields, but we can't go back.
The war continues there.
Everything must be rotting.
Beyond the immediate needs, the long-term consequences for affected communities are also a cause for concern.
Most depend on agriculture, so lack of access to their fields for weeks or even months could exacerbate food insecurity for thousands of people in the region.
“We have food in the town, in the fields, but we can't go back.
The war continues there.
Everything must be rotting,” says Obed. Limited humanitarian assistance Although the crisis has lasted for several months, Agrippine, Ponsie and Obed lament the lack of humanitarian assistance received so far.
“I have never received any distribution of food, no bowls, no pots; nothing,” says Agrippina.
“No one has come here.
If we had gotten help, we wouldn't be out like this,” adds Ponsie.
The recent outbreak of violence in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation with an estimated total of 1.6 million people displaced and more than 2.5 million people in need in North Kivu province in June of 2022.
For Agrippine, the more the weeks go by, the more the hope of returning home diminishes.
“I have no hope of going home any time soon.
There is no improvement,” she says.
Ponsie shares her discouragement.
"Why is there still war in North Kivu?
This is not the first time we have had to flee.
I don't know how my children can grow up in war."
The Federal Government has called on Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Nigeria to support its efforts in the fight against terrorism, banditry and all forms of criminality.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba, made the call at the unveiling of an NGO, ‘Sure for you Rescue and Resettlement Initiative (SURE4U” in Abuja.
SURE4U was established by the former Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, Mr Muhammad Babandede to promote social justice, gender equality, protection and integration of vulnerable children and returnees into the society.
Agba urged NGOs to support government efforts by ensuring that they did not engage in activities that undermines Nigeria’s sovereignty and national security.
He also urged NGOs to support government in addressing the plights of the vulnerable in Nigeria.
“The problem of providing for the vulnerable people in our society is at the heart of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.
“There is the overwhelming need to accord the vulnerable a priority so as to enable them contribute meaningfully to the socio-cultural and socio-economic development of Nigeria.
“Consequently, the National Development Plan 2021 to 2025 takes into consideration the plight of the Almajiri children and other vulnerable Nigerians and adequate room has been made to ensure their inclusion in the implementation of the plan.
“It is hoped that NGOs will complement the efforts of government in this regards.
Some of their invited contributions includes human capital development and technical assistance; “Development of Small Scale farmers; Research, monitoring and evaluation; Enlightenment Campaigns; Advocacy for the poor; and conflict building,’’ he said.
The minister said that Babandede’s experience at NAPTIP and NIS would be brought to bear in the running of the new organisation, with multi-tasked vision on the vulnerable children in the society.
He added that SURE4U would be involved in Migration issues including provision of adequate and hospitable reception to Nigerians deported back home, mainly to assuage their frustrations due to forced displacement.
According to him, the menace of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) as one of the world’s most despicable human phenomenon.
“Girl-child education and inmates incarcerated because of minor offences requiring settlement of small judicial fines are also amongst the noble precepts of the NGO.
“The experience garnered by the founder while at NAPTIP and Immigration Service would certainly come in handy in meeting the organisation’s objectives.
” “SURE4U holds a huge promise for its intended objectives in Nigerian, especially the less privileged in the society, Agba said it was more interesting to see such an organisation founded and headed by a credible personality who had served the government and still ready to serve the country through non-governmental activities.
He added that undertaking an NGO activities in terms of funding and other logistics was never an easy task, adding that many NGOs found it difficult to garner sufficient and continuous funding for their work.
Also speaking, Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), said that SURE 4U has similar mandates with her agency hence the need for the support.
She added that the almajiri programme was a serious problem in the country that needed an urgent attention.
“Almajiri programme is a strong form of internal human trafficking because it has departed from it original reason why it was being initiated.
“It comes with a lot of abuse and there is no reason why we should condone it.
“While I was the Director-General of NAPTIP, on a daily basis, with the help of the security agencies, we intercepted two to three trucks of children being transported across the country.
“So, definitely, it calls for collective effort to address the issue of almajiri in the country, ” she said.
On his part, SURE4U Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman, Sen. Usman Kibiya commended the Federal Government in tackling issues such as the number of out of school children and child trafficking.
He called on the government for more effort at educating the girl-child saying that policies on the vulnerable in the society should be redesigned to carter for their needs.