‘Over 5,000 IDPs in Borno are HIV/AIDS carriers’
The Borno State Coordinator on HIV/AIDS, Hassan Mustapha, has disclosed that over 5, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 27 camps across the state are currently living with life threatening HIV/AIDS viruses.
Mustapha said that on Thursday during an interactive session with journalist in Maiduguri while responding on state of health of IDPs taking refuge in resettlement camps across the state.
“Most of the IDPs patients are women, who were rescued from captivity in Boko Haram camps,” he said, adding that some of those infested with HIV/AIDS were unable to access anti-retro viral drugs and therapy, because of stigmatisation.
Mustapha also lamented that many of them had died of the scourge, because they were not properly counseled and sensitised on the need to enroll under the HIV/AIDS control programme.
“We have over 1, 000 patients among the over 25, 000 IDPs in camp at Bama and 3, 000 in Gwoza camp, while over 1, 000 others are taking refuge in the host communities of Maiduguri metropolis.
“We have heard of many supporting non-governmental organisations in the state, but none of them has approached us to offer assistance to the IDPs living with these
viruses,” he lamented.
Mustapha also explained: “The IDPs living with such ailment are constantly challenged. They do not go out to access drugs. Most of
them are shy, while some are afraid to be identified by others as carriers.
“They sometimes complain to us that they are not allowed to go out of the camp to access drugs in other centres.
“The blunt truth is that government is not paying topmost priority to the health conditions of such persons in camps and host communities in the state.”