Some Borno displaced communities taking refuge at the Custom Camp in Maiduguri have lauded the interventions of UN Population Fund (UNFPA Nigeria) in assisting patients during the outbreak of cholera in the camp.
Some of the community leaders in the camp who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in Maiduguri on Friday also commended the timely intervention of the Fund, saying it saved many lives.
Mustafa Bulama, one of the community leaders, said the keke ambulances provided by the UNFPA did a good job in evacuating patients to referral centres
He added that “the keke ambulance operators work 24 hours in containing the outbreak; anytime we call on them, be it early morning or midnight, they are there for us.’’
Another leader, Mala Bukar, said that at the height of the outbreak, the UNFPA Keke mini ambulances used to evacuate
between 15 to 20 patients a day, “but now, cases have reduced to between one to five patients a day.
“We are grateful to God and UNFPA for the intervention. Officials of the Fund have also been enlightening us on hygiene and
other preventive measures.’’
Shettima Malum, driver to one of the UNFPA keke ambulances, said they evacuated about 373 patients for treatment at the
peak of the outbreak.
“We worked 24 hours with full support from UNFPA to save lives,’’ Malum said.
An elderly patient, Modu Bulama, who survived the epidemic in the camp, said he was unconscious when conveyed to
referral centre by the keke ambulance.
“I was not myself when they took me to hospital and within two days, I was okay.
“I am grateful to God and UNFPA for saving my life,” Bulama said.
Some women, including Bintu Musa, Iza Madu and Fanta Modu, also evacuated by the ambulance around 2 a.m. when they contracted cholera, said they remain greatful for the services.
“UNFPA has always been there for us, be it disease outbreak, safe delivery, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), mentalhealth and empowerment through skills acquisition training,” said Musa who is pregnant .
Adamu Hamman, a UNFPA Community GBV/SRH Mobiliser, said that the Fund, in its commitment to ensure zerounmet need for family planning, preventable maternal and GBV and harmful practices, always hold quarterly
engagement with community leaders.
He said it was after such meetings that the idea of keke ambulance came about and it is yielding fruitful results.
He added that “we hear from the communities, the challenges they are facing and see where UNFPA can support them or link them up with relevant organisations that can help.