Medical Women in Plateau Reach Out to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Mangu LGA


On the 19th of March 2024, the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Plateau State Branch, conducted a medical outreach program to provide healthcare services to well over 500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in Mangu Local Government Area (LGA). This outreach took place at the Pilot primary school, IDP camp Mangu.

Following the spates of attacks on villages and communities across 3 notable LGAs (Mangu LGA, Bokkos LGA and Barkin Ladi LGA) of the states in January 2024, thousands of residents were affected. Some fled due to fear, others had their entire livelihood destroyed – their homes, crops and livestock – with the loss of loved ones and others maimed; this leading to the displacement of over 29,000 persons in Bokkos LGA alone. Hence, in line with her motto, “healing with the love of a mother”, MWAN plateau took it upon herself to provide succour to victims of these violent attacks.

Speaking to the MWAN Plateau President, who also headed the medical outreach planning committee – Dr Nana Emeribe, she explained that the high number of people affected by the invasion of their villages within those few days added over 30,000 IDPs to the already impoverished camps. Highlighting that these people have pressing health care needs arising from injuries, poor living conditions, psychological trauma and more. Thus, MWAN Plateau was motivated to provide medical services at the IDP camps to alleviate their sufferings.

During the outreach which was aimed to address the healthcare needs of these vulnerable populations and their lack of access to healthcare facilities: general medical consultations and necessary treatments was provided to 316 adults and children; dental healthcare to address oral health issues, alleviate dental pain and discomfort including tooth extractions, scaling, and polishing was provided to 145 persons. Likewise, 108 patients received ophthalmology consultations, and several eyeglasses distributed to those with vision impairments, thereby improving their visual acuity and quality of life.

Additionally, the organisation was able to achieve this feat in Mangu and plan to provide relief materials – such as food items, sanitary pads and toiletries, blankets and warm clothing (especially for the children) – to residents in Bokkos, as a result of the generous donations from medical women (MWAN members) across the nation via the MWAN Plateau platform, through the month of February and early March. Similarly, a total of 35 volunteers – comprising of female doctors, dentists, ophthalmologist, dental technicians, medical students and Red Cross volunteers – came together to provide the enlisted services at the outreach.

Albeit, in the course of the outreach, major challenges highlighted still included limited resources, in terms of medical supplies, equipment, and personnel, which impacted the scope and scale of services that could be provided. As well as limited accessibility to some of IDP camps that were located in remote areas. Even though, the leadership of these said camps were informed to converge their IDPs at the site of the outreach (which is centrally located and has ample space), there was still significant issue noted in reaching and providing services to all affected individuals.

Recommendations proffered towards solving the numerous healthcare problems of these vulnerable populations are: continued support and collaboration from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to sustain and expand healthcare interventions for IDPs; appropriate training and capacity-building initiatives for healthcare providers to enhance their skills and competencies in addressing the unique healthcare needs of displaced populations; as well as investing in healthcare infrastructure and facilities in areas hosting IDPs to improve their access to quality healthcare services and ensure better health outcomes for them.

On future plans, the president stated, “at this time, we decided to initiate our medical outreach in both Mangu LGA and relief outreach in Bokkos LGAs, due to the high number of IDPs they have compared to Barkin Ladi LGA. We visited Mangu LGA first for medical outreach, because they had more recent attacks and more pressing health needs. While Bokkos LGA on the other hand had received interventions since their earlier attacks in December 2023 and January 2024. However, in collaboration with the NARD & Association of Resident Doctors Jos University Teaching Hospital (ARD-JUTH), we are on standby for an upcoming medical outreach to Bokkos. Where we would be providing menstrual hygiene services, including health talk and distribution of sanitary pads, while our male counterparts will provide medical consultation with or without minor surgeries, as cases might require. Also, we have a call to go to the IDP camp in Mikang LGA, because they recently had attacks a few weeks ago”.

MWAN Plateau is willing to go all the way, but we have financial constraints, and we are taking this medium to solicit support and funding to help us achieve this goal of providing healthcare services to persons displaced by violent attacks and safeguarding their overall health and well-being.  of the beneficiaries. Donations are welcomed in cash and kind ~ Dr Nana Emeribe, MWAN Plateau President, 2023-2025 biennium.

Conclusively, the medical outreach conducted by MWAN Plateau State Branch to IDPs in Mangu LGA was a significant effort to address the healthcare needs of vulnerable populations affected by violent attacks in villages that lead to their displacement. Despite challenges, the outreach succeeded in providing essential healthcare services to a large number of beneficiaries, underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts in improving health outcomes for displaced populations.

Editor’s note:
This report was collated by the 2024 MWAN Plateau Outreach Planning Committee and Medical Mirror Correspondent, Dr Mary O. Agoyi.

Leave A Reply