By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cross River Government says it is planning to include migrants fleeing a crackdown in Cameroonian and taking refuge in the state in its next measles vaccination campaign.
The Director General of the state’s Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu disclosed this while addressing the migrants in central Cross River State where she went on a fact finding mission with several international development agencies.
“We are working to cover them in the forth coming measles vaccination campaign while improving health care delivery at the primary health centres in the communities where the are staying,” a sponsored statement from the agency qoutes her as saying.
Edu later took to Facebook on Monday morning to express her despair in what seemed more like a cry for help.
She said she was “tired of seeing graves,” and worried that she “might unconsciously slip into depression” as she worries for the over 10,000 Cameroonian refugees and asylum seekers who according to her have; “over stretched our health facilities in those communities in Cross River state.”
She continued: “Am worried about the one day old babies that sleep on the floor, am worried about women who might be forced to sleep with men for food to survive, am worried about those children who are not protected and have no access to Education,” and queried the rational behind their forcible eviction.
She queried: “When will African Leaders understand that you don’t need bloodshed to stay in power. Why can’t the respect the rights of their citizens?”
Also, she shared her experience interacting with the refugees in a rather solemn manner and posited that: “These people feel pain… they feel helpless… it is our duty to protect their right to life!”
She wrote: “Let me show you the grave of my mother We buried her last week; This is where my child was buried yesterday; no food; am breast feeding and I haven’t eaten today; Cameroon soldiers came here with tankers; we were scared and ran for our lives; we dont want to be put in camps because we think when the Nigerian Government gather us together, they will hand us over to our killers.”
She called on the Nigerian government “to take immediate actions in line with international humanitarian law and ethics,” to the aid of the refugees as it stands the risk of losing more to; “severe acute malnutrition and diseases both communicable and non communicable; many pregnant women; over 50 perc of the population are children the need help!”
Furthermore, she said that: “We do not support camp but rather think the federal Government should work with partners and local actors to provide support to the refugees in the communities, fix social amenities like schools and health systems, provide cash transfer and support them along side the communities the reside in.”
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