13 Chibok rescued girls-turned mothers unveiled as rehabilitation of victims takes centre stage
The rehabilitation and reintegration of women and children victims of the years-long Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast region of Nigeria is receiving accelerated attention.
This is just as 14 rescued members of the abducted Chibok girls, but one was united and unveiled for the first time after their escape or capture by troops of the Nigeria Army.
The fourteenth escapee could not join her other lucky colleagues as she was put to bed weeks back in Maiduguri.
In her remarks during the unveiling of the young women, who are now mothers, Borno State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, said the rescued victims have been undergoing rehabilitation.
She noted that her ministry initiated action through mental health and psycho-social support, stressing that the Borno Model of integration had ensured that the victims are regaining their normal frame of mind and sense of society.
“These Chibok girls were abducted when they were very young, today they are young women, having been forced to marry their abductors. So, they came out traumatised and dehumanised. We have been able to rehabilitate some of them.
“The process is still ongoing, even other rescued female victims that went with their husbands, having been removed from their ancestral homes and normal community life, the psychological challenge is highly enormous,” she stated.
One of the rescued Chibok girls, Yana Poni, who was delivered of twins, two months before her escape, said amid tears, “this is not the life I expected of myself. I never knew I would see my parents again.”
The 24-year-old Yana disclosed that the father of her three children, a fighter, was still in the bush with the Boko Haram fighters, stressing that it breaks her heart to try to remember how everything happened.
Earlier, the medical personnel in charge of the Bulumkutu Intensive Care Centre at the Hajj Camp premises in Maiduguri, Dr. Mohammed Saliu, said as of July this year, the clinic handled 94 deliveries, while 96, 60 and 11 babies were born for the months of August, September and October respectively, making it a total of 252 newborns.
Out of that number, Saliu stated, 150 were females, while 102 were males, even as he disclosed that they refer cases requiring expert attention to Umaru Shehu Specialist Hospital and Borno Medical Teaching Hospital.
On the incidence of 0-5months’ death, Dr. Saliu explained that such deaths have never been as a result of maternity issues, reiterating that complicated cases that are beyond their capacity are usually referred to other places where better facilities are available.
He noted that none of the pregnant women ever rejected their babies or demanded for removal of the unborn babies, adding that reported cases of miscarriages due to trauma are rare.