Boko Haram Research Paper

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Impact on health and the health system (Henning Berg Schmidt)

The health system

Boko Haram’s violent insurgency has had a major impact on the health system in North-Eastern Nigeria, significantly affecting public health. As a result of the terrorist actions, many health care workers – especially those not indigenously from the state – have fled to neighboring states. This has caused a great shortage of health workers and personnel, which means the health system is undermanned, as well causing an Internally Displaced People (IDP) problem. There have also been many cases of hospital facility attacks where the terrorists have stolen drugs, hospital equipment and ambulances, further weakening the resources at disposal to serve the public health
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It can certainly be argued that the worst suffering caused by the terrorist group is mental, however, we tend to pay more attention to what we can quantify, so the mental aspect tends to be overlooked. This paper will not even refer to the few numbers we have on mental health in Nigeria in Boko Haram areas as they are so far from reality that they become useless. The conclusion here is that most of those fleeing Boko Haram (many who have fled them several times) will suffer great emotional trauma, something which has been confirmed by interviews with the media . Nigeria is only spending about 3% of its health care budget on mental health to begin with, and drugs are not free, costing between 5-7% of the national minimum daily wages . It is worth noting that most people in the rural North-East work in the informal sector, meaning they are not formally employed and not paid any minimum wage. It is also assumed that at least 25% of the countries psychiatrists leave the country (independent of the Boko Haram crises), meaning the national system is in general fairly weak. There is, however, no country or national region in the world that can meet the demand of almost 3 million people who all experience trauma within a few years, especially not North-Eastern…show more content…
In the hunt for terrorists they have often beat and tortured innocent people if they or other villagers have suspected they are reporting to Boko Haram. Amnesty amongst others have reported on these war crimes , and just like drone strikes and increased air strikes killing civilians is recruiting jihadists in the Middle East, government “overreaction” (in the sense that they go out to hunt anyone without either a fair trial or even double checking) is recruiting Boko Haram fighters. The governments behavior has definitively both caused suffering directly through their violence and indirectly through the recruitment of more
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