The Boko Haram insurgency in North-East Nigeria led to people’s profound political, economic, and social dislocations in Borno State. For more than a decade now, since the resurgence of the insurgents, millions of citizens have been rendered homeless. Hence, there has been a surge of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) hosted in various government and privately established camps across the State.
However, beyond the threat of insecurity and live threatening economic hardships that these people are forced to endure, these IDP camps are faced severe health challenges, one of which includes limited access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services.
In an effort to address these challenges, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) partnered with the Borno State government. First, a Needs Assessment of the affected population was conducted. It was then deduced that the cause of the problems is inadequacies posed by infrastructure and manpower to ensure quality service delivery.
The Needs Assessment exercise led to the recruitment of 10 service providers (Nurses and Community Health Extension Workers). They were trained and adequately equipped with the skills necessary to alleviate the dilemma in selected health facilities (Gamboru, Custom House, Bakasi, Teachers Village, and Abbaganaram camps) close to the camps. In addition, they were tasked with the mandate of ensuring the delivery of quality SRHR services, including Family Planning and addressing gender-based violence (GBV). In addition to facility-based services, the service providers also conducted outreach services in host communities.
According to one of the Facility Managers, Ms. Zainab Bulama had said that prior to the PPFN/UNFPA intervention, the facility had not been able to meet the needs of the communities due to the unavailability of personnel. However, this has improved significantly in current times.
Zainab Bulama was quoted saying, “the intervention by UNFPA and PPFN really helped the facility with manpower to help provide quality services. For example, before the intervention during ANC the workload was much, but with the help of these 2 additional staff, it’s easy to do the work. Also, in the family planning unit, now things are much better”.