Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has ordered the immediate hospitalization of 61 critically malnourished infants recently rescued from Boko Haram captivity.
The children were part of the 478 children and 219 adults that were rescued after two years in captivity.
A statement by Isa Gusau, spokesman of the governor, said all of them showed signs of malnutrition but that the 61 children hospitalised were in critical condition.
The statement said : “The 61 infants now hospitalized at Umaru Shehu Specialist Hospital, owned by the State Government in Maiduguri, are undergoing medical care arising from extreme deprivation of food. They were part of the 478 children moved from Bama alongside 219 adults also malnourished. The adults consist of 196 women, some of whom gave birth to part of the 478 children. The rest of the adults are 23 men, looking emaciated.”
Gusau disclosed that the victims were among those rescued by the military in continued operations against Boko Haram insurgents who in the last six years attacked communities, killing residents and abducting many.
He said after the governor ordered the health and Emergency Management Agency staff to set up the special unit on Monday night, he was at the unit on Tuesday to meet the kids and parents.
“Anyone that shows sign of being in critical health condition should be sent for medical admission on Government shoulders. Food and water must be constant and so should medical staff and drugs at the unit. I will monitor every step of what happens here” Shettima told staff.
He also revealed that: “There were humanitarians from particularly Empower 54, an Atlanta based humanitarian organization led by a Benin Princess, Modupe Ozolua. The princess played a key role in working with the Borno State Government since the last weeks and she indeed accompanied Government officials to Bama on Monday to convey the 697 suffering souls to Maiduguri.”
According to Gusau, the governor had recognized the contribution of the Benin Princess in supporting the people of Borno.
Gusau also revealed that the governor had relocated thousands of freshly rescued villagers displaced in Marte and Mafa.
He said the governor was on hand to visit the victims who stayed under trees along Maiduguri- Dikwa road on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
He said the villagers who were said to be over 10,000 were rescued around Mafa and Marte after a recent raid by the military.
He said they were trapped as a result of insurgency activities on the routes to their villages.