By Zakariya Musa
Following the EYN president’s statement declaring a state of emergency on health, the Disaster Relief Ministry of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) moved to conduct Hepatitis B screening starting with staff and students of Kulp Bible College in Kwarhi.
In more news from the work of the Disaster Relief Ministry, the EYN program has been sharing relief aid with refugees from Bdagu who were camped at Lassa following a recent attack on their village.
Hepatitis B screening
Medical personnel Charles Ezra reported that out of 178 people between the ages of 25 to 60 who have been screened so far, 30 were identified positive. A confirmation test is being carried out on those with positive results. After reconfirmation, the group will be undergoing further profiling for medication.
The exercise will continue at the EYN Headquarters, the EYN Ministers Annual Conference, and with staff and students at the EYN secondary school. The demand is high, as people are eager to get screened knowing that the disease has killed some relatives in their communities.
EYN president Joel S. Billi, while narrating concern about the deadly disease, said that EYN has experienced the deaths of young pastors to the killer disease over the years.
Emergency response to Bdagu refugees
EYN’s Disaster Relief Ministry conveyed emergency relief material to Bdagu refugees who were camped at Lassa following the recent attack on their village. The relief materials delivered to 124 households included rice, cooking oil, mats, Maggi Cubes, and blankets.
On the EYN team were the director of the Disaster Relief Ministry, Yuguda Z. Mdurvwa; coordinator Amos S. Duwala; project officer Zakariya Musa; accountant Aniya Simon; medical coordinator Charles E. Gaya; driver John Haha; and two other commercial drivers and their conductor. Part of the material budgeted for 300 households was returned.
Each household received one mat, one blanket, one packet of Maggi Cubes, one bag of 25 kilograms of rice, and one liter of cooking oil. Some families are many in number, and only a few have two or three family members. The majority are between 6 and 10 people in each household.
The displaced are sleeping under the burnt buildings of the Vocational Training Center in Lassa. Tanko Waba, one of the displaced, thanked the church for coming to their aid. He called on the government to reconsider the area, which he said faced several attacks.
In the camp was the man whose family was taken away by the Boko Haram at Bdagu. Mallum Abau, about 70, could not control his tears on mentioning the names of his family members abducted during the attack. Mr. Abau listed their names as: Ndalna Mallum, a wife carrying a baby; Pana Mallum, a daughter with baby; Joro Mallum, a son; Adum Mallum, a son; Hauwa Mallum, a daughter; Hauwa Aduwamanji, a brother’s daughter whose husband was killed by Boko Haram in recent years.
Some of the displaced sustained levels of injuries. One of them was Mr. Ayagaja, who sustained wounds. According to Ayagaja, on hearing of gunshots he was confused and ran into a village called Yimirmugza where he fell into a band of vigilante groups who assumed he was Boko Haram. “They tied and seriously beated me until someone who knows me came around to tell them, ‘Isn’t this a man you know?’ Then they untied me,” he said. His left hand was seriously injured. Ayagaja is being cared for by the Disaster Relief Ministry who committed to follow up on his situation.
Bdagu village head Lawan Satumary Chinda was there during the relief distribution. He thanked the church for the gesture. “No human being left in Bdagu,” he said.
The following were killed in the attack which sacked the area: Shakatri Tsukwam, Aliyu Jaduwa, Ushadari Waindu, Ijanada Ngarba--a woman about 95 years old burnt alive in her room, and Yaga Lamido who was slaughtered.
In a similar response, 153 households were relieved when maize, rice, Maggi Cubes, cooking oil, and salt were distributed at Munni in EYN DCC Michika, in the Michika Local Government area of Adamawa State. Munni village was damaged in 2014 attacks.
Many villages around Chibok, Lassa, Dille, Madagali, Mildu, etc., are under-reported or unreported in terms of Boko Haram attacks, because most of the areas have no access to communication networks.
-- Zakariya Musa serves on the communications staff of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).