MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, June 12: — Members of the Boko Haram militant sect is linked to sexually transmitted diseases in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno. State Commissioner of Health Salma Anas-Kolo on Wednesday told reporters in Maiduguri, the state capital, that forced marriages by members of the insurgent group have caused increasing cases of sexually transmitted diseases among women.
“The insurgency has brought emerging health challenges among our people. It has impacted psychological trauma with cases of mental disorder and hypertension because of the violence going on, ” she added.
“Women and children have suffered a lot. Many women died during prolonged labor because they cannot assess hospital service due to curfew and because of fear to go to the hospital,” the commissioner disclosed.
Despite all these, the government has provided 35 ambulances with “specialized medical facilities” to take care of health challenges among residents, according to the official.
The government purchased anti-snake drugs for residents in the desert-prone northern parts of the state, which was until three weeks ago under the grip of the Boko Haram militants.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR on Tuesday said general insecurity and anti-insurgent operations in the northeast part of Nigeria have displaced thousands of people, of whom more than 6,000 fled to a neighboring country.
On May 14, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northern states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno following waves of killing and attacks by Boko Haram suspects. The three states share borders locally and international borders with African countries Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
(Xinhua / NNA Nepal)