Bakassi clan head laments influx of Cameroonian refugees
The Clan Head of Ikang, headquarters of Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, Chief Kenneth Effiong, on Friday lamented the influx of Cameroonian refugees to his community following the crisis in the southern part of Cameroon.
Effiong, who disclosed this while receiving members of the Calabar South-Akpabuyo-Bakassi chapter of the National Association of Seadogs, led by its Coordinator, Mr. Ekong Otu, said over 300 Cameroonians are currently residing in the community.
The clan head had received the Seadogs who brought medical experts to screen residents of the community on gastric ulcer, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, HIV and provide health talk on healthy living.
He said, “You people are God sent. This medical mission will have large turn out because our people actually need some medical attention. The main problem that we are having is the issue of Cameroonians who are gradually taking over our community.
“We are not hostile and we cannot send them away, but we need government’s intervention to relocate and treat them because some of them might have come with one form of disease condition or the other. We have over 300 of them with us at the moment.”
Coordinator of the visiting team, Mr. Ekong Otu, said they were in Bakassi to offer free medical screening and provide drugs to indigent residents.
He said the chapter had engaged the services of medical experts within its fold and outside it in the intervention mission, following the ongoing strike by workers in the public sector. He added that over 150 patients were attended to in less than four hours of the exercise.
“This is part of our quarterly external project. We have come to carry out this medical intervention in this Bakassi for indigent residents. If there are challenges, we would refer them to the secondary and tertiary health institutions. So far, 150 persons have benefited from the services,” he said.
Delivering a health talk to the residents, a nurse with the General Hospital in Calabar, Mrs. Thelma Takim, said there is the need for more awareness because so many houses in the community are not well ventilated.
She cautioned the residents to stop sleeping in the same room with domestic animals such as pig, goats and cows, adding that it would lead to infections.
A beneficiary and resident of Ikang, Mrs. Nkechi Akan, said she took advantage of the medical intervention by Seadogs because she does not have money to visit the hospital.
Akan commended the association for the gesture and urged that it should be a continuum.