Saturday, 5 November 2016

DISTURBING REPORT - HIV Strikes Internally Displaced Persons Camps In Northeast

Updated 6 November, 2016
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a rather disturbing report. 

The group raised a concern regarding Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in the Northeast. 

HRW says Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) is on the rise in the camps About 500 women and girls have HIV in one IDP camp in the Northeast, a report by HRW claims. 

Disciting the claims by an unnamed medical worker in its report, HRW quotes the health practitioner as saying those infected with HIV in one IDP rose from 200 to 500, with more cases unreported, over fear of stigmatisation. 

The report was however silent about the identity of the camp mentioned. as there are several IDP camps in the region.

Part of the report read: “A medical health worker in one of the camps, which has 10, 000 residents said the number of people requiring treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections has risen sharply, from about 200 cases when the camp clinic was established in 2014 to more than 500, in July 2016. 

“The health worker said she believed that many more women could be infected but were ashamed to go to the clinic and are likely to be suffering in silence without treatment.” 

On Monday, October 31, a damning report about how men of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army take advantage of IDPs in their various camps, raping them at will came to the fore. 

In the report, HRW said its research showed that government officials that included policemen, soldiers, vigilante groups and even camp leaders defile little girls and young women. 

On the same day, President Muhammadu Buhari swiftly reacted and ordered the investigation into the claims by the HRW. “President Buhari has instructed the Inspector General of Police and the state governors of the affected states to immediately commence investigations into the issue. 

“Their findings will determine the next course of action for the government and define an appropriate response,” a statement by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu noted.

On Thursday, November 3, the Nigeria police in a statement by the force public relations officer Dan Awunah said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has set up an investigative panel on the matter. 

The panel as directed by the IGP would immediately commence thorough investigation into all cases of alleged sexual abuses, exploitation, harassment, gender based violence among other in the refugee camps.


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