Over 200 new babies delivered in one Benue IDPs camp in one month


Indications have emerged that the Ortese Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Guma Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state recorded 200 new child births on one month.

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This was part of the findings of the Integrated Supportive Supervision, ISS, of the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Health Organization, UNICEF/WHO Humanitarian Health Response (IDP) Outreach implemented by the Benue State Primary Healthcare Board, carried out at the Ortese and Ichwa IDPs camps in Guma and Makurdi Local Government Areas, LGAs, respectively.

Speaking on the development, the Executive Secretary of the Benue State Primary Health Care Board, Mrs. Grace Wende said the number was quite high and the government would need to do something about it.

According to her, “I saw a very interesting sight. I’ve been in these camps often as part of our coordination beat and as part of the main role of Primary Health Care.

“We are part of the major leading partners in supporting the Internally Dispalced Persons, IDPs camps in terms of providing healthcare personnel who will be providing services to these various camps.

“Today I saw chunk of pregnant women and young children and it seems that there is very high level of fertility and child birth within these camps.

“Today alone we noticed that there are 200 new births per month. It is quite high, and Government needs to do something about it.

“But from my discussion with them it seems that they are not utilising the family planning products that were given to them. So we need to intensify demand creation generation especially among the men because they look the problem there.

“The women are willing but their husbands are resisting those family planning methods.

“The 200 births I am talking about is just in Ortese IDPs Camp. I am not talking about any other. 200 babies delivered in one camp in one month is huge. And we have not gotten the situation in other camps.

“Our findings indicated that the women there are helpless. Some women are remarring within the camp, their husbands are not there; the husbands are also remarrying. They are also, sort of negotiating sex with the women within the camp. Those things are things that require that we intensify our advocacy and decision making within the camps.

“I have already talked with the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, and the Camp Coordinators to see how we can go about it. We will target the advocacy on the men for now.”

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