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Violence victims suffer in camps

NEWS

Violence victims suffer in camps

Story by OLIVER MATHENGE
Publication Date: 3/13/2008

The country faces a host of new challenges over the fate of post-election violence victims, a new report by the Nairobi Women’s Hospital suggests.

The report which was released Wednesday in Nairobi recommends that the country should tackle the issues as part of its healing process. 

Some of the problems include focusing on the needs of disabled people who may have been affected by the violence. Issues relating to HIV and AIDS and dealing with gender concerns in the distribution of donations in displacement camps are also emerging as problems.

Special attention

“There have been concerns among the male IDPs who feel that their needs have not been adequately met,” said Ms Teresa Omondi, one of the hospital’s directors. 

Ms Omondi added that those working with the violence victims have to deal with diseases that needed special attention. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma.

According to the report, 443 survivors of the violence were treated at the Nairobi Women’s hospital by the end of February. Among these, 356 were rape victims of which 149 were on minors. 

Truth commission

Ms Omondi noted that most of the violence cases appeared to have been perpetrated by youths. 

The project coordinator Ms June Koinange, said that the victims were still undergoing a lot of stress and trauma with most of them saying they were not ready to return to their homes. She noted that the psychological issues facing the victims need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

The hospital’s CEO Dr Sam Thenya, said that they would be presenting the information to the proposed truth, justice and reconciliation commission. He noted that this would be important as a way of enhancing the country’s healing process.

Dr Thenya also said that the report was tentative since the project was to continue till the end of March. After its completion, a more detailed one covering the whole country would be released. 

The report mentions that another 2,416 survivors of the violence have been reached through medical camps hosted by Nairobi Women’s Hospital and its partners. These include the Kenya Red Cross Society which is hosting displacement camps.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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