Chibok Girls: UNFPA to provide reproductive healthcare



Some of the 82 released Chibok schoolgirls

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has pledged to provide emergency reproductive health care, psychosocial counselling and other critical support to the rescued 82 Chibok school girls.

A statement issued by UNFPA Nigeria on Monday in Abuja said the fund welcomes the release of an additional 82 Chibok girls who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.

It said an emergency team of psychosocial counsellors and health professionals have been deployed to assist with the profiling of the girls, so their critical needs can be met.

The fund added that dignity kits, consisting of culturally appropriate attire and intimate hygiene supplies, have been procured and would be distributed to help restore the dignity of the girls.

The statement said the newly-released girls would also be part of a similar rehabilitation programme that was set-up by the agency for the 21 Chibok girls who were released in October 2016.

“The programme is tailor-made to meet each girl’s specific needs of counselling, to help overcome the trauma endured after being held in captivity for more than three years.

“The programme includes, among others, access to quality education to bridge the learning gap created during the abduction, access to reproductive healthcare for their sexual well-being and rehabilitation support,’’ it said.

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According to the fund, the rescued girls will also be engaged into various skills acquisition programmes to ease their reintegration into their society.

It also promised that the agency would sustain its partnership with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to support women and girls who are survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

“UNFPA and partners have provided direct prevention and response services to 200,000 women and girl survivors or at risk of GBV through its ‘safe spaces’ and community outreach.

“More than 3.5 million survivors have been provided with sexual and reproductive health care services, psychosocial support and counselling,’’ it stated.

The 82 girls were released to international negotiators who have been working in collaboration with the federal government for their safe return since they were kidnapped in April 2014.

Malam Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, had earlier confirmed that the girls were released by their captors in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the federal government.

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