The Boko Haram Islamic extremist group and Fulani Islamic militants regularly attack Christians throughout northern Nigeria and nearly all Christians in the region have lost family members to violence. The effects on the surviving victims of these attacks can be devastating and numerous.
Thousands of Christians remain in camps designated for internally displaced people. Life is a constant struggle, and in some places it’s even difficult to find food. Famine in the north has resulted from ongoing jihadi activities.
Diseases like hepatitis B and C are preventable with a simple vaccine, given at birth. Unfortunately, because of a decade or more of attacks, children no longer receive routine childhood vaccinations. These diseases are on the rise in rural areas where no longer are there functioning hospitals or clinics.
This is particularly evident in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, where Fulani attacks are frequent and deadly. This large area, with more than a million residents, has no screening or treatment centre for viral hepatitis, despite having an incidence of the disease amongst the highest in the world.
Displaced families, often with the added responsibility of caring for the children of deceased relatives, have little means of providing the children with the level of care and education needed. Hepatitis makes their care even more challenging. The chance of survival for these children without treatment is significantly reduced.
Chronic hepatitis causes ongoing episodes of severe illness, including swelling of the liver, and makes malaria, endemic in the region, more likely to cause serious liver damage and death.
VOM partners in Nigeria care for more than 300 children who have lost one or both parents to religious violence. At their ministry centre, these children are lovingly cared for and receive a high-quality Christian education. On arrival, each child is screened at the centre’s medical clinic. Many are found to be affected by disease and some are found to have bullet wounds from earlier attacks. Treatment and vaccinations are carried out at the clinic where possible. Children with severe illness or injury are taken to a nearby hospital.
Our partners are seeking a way to expand their medical outreach in order to help people in highly populated
Please pray for those suffering the severe effects of violent attacks in Nigeria. Please also pray for our partners, who in Christ’s name are providing aid to those who need it most.
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