About 500 children across the eight Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs) in Benue State are reportedly infected with a fungal disease.
The coordinator of civil society organisations in Benue State, Dr. Helen Tegh-Tegh, who disclosed this to LEADERSHIP yesterday said they are still compiling and updating the data bank to ascertain the exact figure of those affected.
According to Dr Tegh-Tegh “Children are not only malnourished, they are also suffering from hunger and Fungal infections, we are still taking data of those infected and affected to get the exact figure and see what can be done.”
Following a visit by LEADERSHIP to some of the camps including Abagena, Daudu Camp one, it was observed that children, elderly people and pregnant women looked pale.
Some of the IDPs including Sarwuan, Mercy, Iordzenda who spoke to LEADERSHIP said since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the hike in price of food items many philanthropists and other agencies who supplied food for them in the camps have withdrawn. They said they have been living at the mercy of the Church.
The camp commandant of Daudu Camp 1, Mr James Iorkyaa, said the major problem in the camp now is hunger.
While he admits that the state government is trying, he however said the humanitarian crises have overwhelmed them because as herdsmen continue their attacks, more people are being displaced and coming into the camp.
“So I am appealing to the federal government, and other philanthropists to assist the Benue State government, to take care of the humanitarian crises at hand.”
When contacted, the executive secretary State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Dr. Emmanuel Shior said the state government is doing its best to provide for the well-being of the IDPs.
He said, the state government is engaging with the federal government as well as other humanitarian partners in the state to provide assistance to the IDPs.