Sunday, 20 May 2018

Border Communities: Medēcins Sans Frontiers to support Cameroonian refugees in C/River

Charles Ekanem|20 May 2018 

To ameliorate the hardship being encountered, Medècins Sans Frontiers Deputy Head of Mission in Nigeria, Dr. Shaukat Muttagi has revealed Medecins Sans Frontières Approval to intervene in provision of 6 mobile clinics and installation of boreholes in communities where Cameroonian refugees are currently seeking asylum in the state. He made this known when he led a delegation to the office of the Director General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency in Calabar.

The Deputy Head of Mission, said, they were happy that they have already carried out a need assessment and have equally prioritize after the previous meeting with the DG that led to speedy approval of project from our international head office. According to him, refugees, hard to reach areas and the urgency of time for intervention were topmost considerations  in providing interventions. He also disclosed that toilets would be built under the Water and Sanitation Program  for hygienic living of refugees in communities in the state. This would help in preventing open defecations.

The Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu expressed her happiness over the approval for immediate  interventions by MSF. According to  her, "I am happy that finally you have been given approval to work with us to provide WASH to Cameroonian refugees and asylum seekers in Cross River State". She said, some of the commubities where refugees are seeking asylum lacks good drinking water, toilets for them and adequate health care.  According to Dr. Edu, safe water would help in preventing illness and reducing deaths from cholera, diarrhoea and other water related diseases. 

The DG appeals for consideration of local content in the their contracts execution as well as in recruitment of personnel especially doctors, nurses and midwives for the mobile clinic while urging the team to make their stay in the state comfortable and also requested the team to let the agency know should they encounter any challenges.

Some of the challenges facing Cameroonian refugees and asylum seekers in Cross River state border communities where her 40,000 of them reside are absence of portable drinking water, toilets for proper faeces disposal and poor healthcare services as health facilities in the border areas have been over stretched. 

Despite the fact that the state Government and various partners have shown great concern in addressing these challenges, the challenges keeps multiplying day by day as a result of influx of  more Cameroonian refugees into our border communities.

Dr Betta Edu Director General of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency who has held several meetings with MSF pleaded for their prompt intervention, to forestall any out break of disease in these border communities.

Charles Ekanem 
Reports from Calabar 

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