Isa Gusau, Maiduguri: Sixty one critically malnourished infants have been hospitalized on the orders of Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima after he relocated 478 children and 219 adults, all of them malnurished at due to two years captivity in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents before they were rescued by the Nigerian Military. The victims were moved from Bama to a special care unit in Maiduguri on Monday. Dozens of buses brought conveyed them to a newly opened special care unit in Maiduguri.
The 61 infants now hospitalized at Umaru Shehu Specialist Hospital, owned by the State Government in Maiduguri, are undergoing medical care arising from extreme deprivation of food. They were part of the 478 children moved from Bama alongside 219 adults also malnurished. The adults consist of 196 women, some of whom gave birth to part of the 478 children. The rest of the adults are 23 men, looking thin.
The victims were among those rescued by the military in continued operations against Boko Haram insurgents who in the last six years attacked communities, killing residents and abducting many.
After ordering health and Emergency Management Agency staff to set up the special unit on Monday night, Governor Shettima was at the unit on Tuesday to meet the kids and parents. The Governor mobilized workers on water and sanitation, environment and other senior government officials. He personally supervised administration of care to the children and the parents.
“Anyone that shows sign of being in critical health condition should be sent for medical admission on Government shoulders. Food and water must be constant and so should medical staff and drugs at the unit. I will monitor every step of what happens here” Shettima told staff.
There were humanitarians from particularly Empower 54, an Atlanta based humanitarian organization led by a Benin Princess, Modupe Ozolua. The princess played a key role in working with the Borno State Government since the last weeks and she indeed accompanied Government officials to Bama on Monday to convey the 697 suffering souls to Maiduguri. “Modupe has done very well in supporting Borno” Shettima praised.
At the special care unit were members of the Dangote Foundation who immediately donated food items. There were officials from the United Nations Office on Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and so were members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and those from UNICEF. Everyone wanted to help as they were inspired by Governor Shettima’s two hours supervision at the special unit.
Meanwhile, Governor Kashim Shettima also on Tuesday, relocated some freshly rescued thousands of Villagers displaced in Marte and Mafa. The Governor went to see the victims who stayed under trees along Maiduguri- Dikwa road on the outskirts of Maiduguri. The villagers, said to be over 10,000 were rescued around Mafa and Marte after a recent raid by the military. They were trapped due to insurgency activities on the routes to their villages, they told the Governor. Shettima not only ordered that a new camp be opened for them but he waited for 4 hours, supervising the creation of the camp and he didn’t leave until they were in their new ‘home’. He ordered construction of boreholes and rest rooms while a medical unit is to be set up. The Governor was concerned about security around the new camp but he was assured by soldiers that there was no cause for worry.