Assessing Interventions Available to Internally Displaced Persons in Abia State, Nigeria
Internally displaced persons are faced with several problems, such as sexual violence, and deserve appropriate intervention, especially in view of the increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS and other infections in Nigeria. This study attempts to assess interventions offered by governmental authorities and organizations to internally displaced persons and to identify gaps in services as well as to identify what needs to be strengthened. Method: The author reviewed relevant published and unpublished
documents and collected data by interviews with semi-structured questions. Twenty-five organizations and government and police departments and 55 internally displaced persons were interviewed. Results: None of the organizations, including governmental institutions, provided social services or assistance in prevention of HIV/AIDS to internally displaced persons. The main services provided by 17 (68%) organizations to 43 (78.2%) of internally displaced persons were provision of food, clothing and money, but these were provided on an ad hoc basis. Only 3 organizations (12%) included spiritual counseling and resolution of communal conflicts in their services. Conclusion: The fact that most organizations, including the government, do not have services for internally displaced persons indicates lack of support for internally displaced persons. The government should be urged to include these people in most prevention services, including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. This should help reduce the national prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
Keywords: Internally displaced, Interventions, HIV/AIDS, Conflicts, Nigeria
Libyan Medical Journal Vol. 4 (1) 2009: pp. 17-22