The Standard Gazette
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Bakassi returnee in critical state

The poor sanitary conditions at the St Mark’s Primary School, Akwa Ikot Edem in Akpabuyo –temporary home of Nigerians allegedly evicted from Cameroon– may soon claim its first victim.

Elizabeth (15), who had been living with over 2, 000 other returnees in the classrooms since March 7, developed a strange ailment last month.

She has swollen stomach and feet.

Her father, Edet Ene Okon (40), said she had been hospitalised since then.

Okon said his daughter, who is in the Paediatric Section of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), is in very critical state and may get worse, if nothing is done urgently.

He said efforts to get assistance from the government have proven abortive and the over N200, 000 he has spent so far on her treatment was a donation from the Clan Head of Eyo Edem clan in Akpabuyo.

He lamented that Elizabeth, who needs blood transfusion, is in pains.

Okon said the family was financially exhausted and could not even afford to buy food and drugs.

“Since they pursued us from Cameroon, we left everything we had and came here.

“We don’t have any money and it is only the clan head who has helped us this far.

“Please, let the government come to our aid. As I talk to you, I don’t even have N10 and the hospital needs money to continue her treatment.”

Okon said when they first noticed that their daughter was not feeling fine, she was first taken to St Joseph Hospital in Akpabuyo before she was referred to the UCTH.

Elizabeth’s mother, Christina, sitting by her daughter, cried: “Please, let something be done quickly about this matter. I don’t want to lose this child, please.”

The youth coordinator of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Akpabuyo Division, Eyo Okon, expressed worry about the health and sanitary condition of returnees at the camp.