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12,000 Boko Haram victims benefit from VSF medical programme


IDP school located in Sangere, Gerei local government./ AFP PHOTO / FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR

Dr Sunday Ochoche, the Executive Director, Victims Support Fund (VSF) said that no fewer than 12,000 victims of Boko Haram insurgency benefited from its medical support programme.

He disclosed this while featuring on News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship programme NAN Forum in Abuja.

Ochoche said the agency was closely working with the hospitals where such programmes are offered by having VSF desk and capturing the data of beneficiaries.

The VSF boss said the devastating impact on victims arising from the Boko Haram attacks have reduced due to the intervention of the organisation.

“Every beneficiary of victims support fund is captured in our data including the education programme, the foster care programme, we have their biometrics, we have the number of everybody who is a beneficiary of Victims Support Fund is capured in our data.

“We are closely working with hospitals and they have victims support desk that captures all the data and things have improved significantly because the category of needs which we have set up the support has changed.

“You don’t have that number of people today suffering from suicide bombing or armed attack by Boko Haram civilians, that has significantly reduced but on the last count, we have about 12,000 people who have benefited from the medical checkups from Victims Support Fund,’’ he said.

He said the VSF has extended its medical intervention to other parts of Nigeria where victims of insurgency are receiving treatment.

“Benue was the first major state outside the northeast that we went deliberately or responded to but bear in mind that especially our health support programme, because at that critical time of Boko Haram crisis, a lot of the bombings, a lot of the suicide attacks were not limited to the northeast.

“Remember Abuja was under attack, Kaduna, Kano, Jos and some of the medical facilities that I referred to, we are supporting two hospitals in Kano, we are supporting two hospitals in Plateau.

“We supported the National Hospital here in Abuja. So, we have followed where some of these challenges are and even in our educational support, a number of children were taken from the northeast to a facility in Benin, Edo state we follow them there to support their education’’ he said.

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