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Published On: Sun, May 11th, 2014

Nyanya bombings: Trauma expert raises concern over survivors’ mental condition

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A trauma expert, Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, has raised concern about the mental condition of survivors and families of deceased victims of the recent bomb explosions in the country.

Wonodi, who works at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health based in the U.S, said this in Abuja on Wednesday, at a forum organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Nigerian Women in Clergy (NWIC).

The forum was organised for the families of deceased victims and survivors of the recent bomb explosions in Nyanya.

Wonodi said the mental and emotional injuries suffered by some survivors and families of deceased victims were as important as the physical injuries sustained by some victims of the bomb explosions.

According to Wonodi, the fact that the condition of this category of victims is mental, does not mean it is less important than the condition of those with physical injuries.

“This category of victims seems to have been forgotten by government and other relevant agencies.

“Their condition is as critical as those with physical injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder is one health condition that must not be ignored at all, but in our country, these people have been forgotten, she said.

The expert said stakeholders must make efforts to address post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by victims, so as to help them overcome the situation.

She stressed the need for the training of health workers in hospitals and other medical facilities to help handle identified cases of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims.

Wonodi said that counseling; special medical care and support by trained health workers could help reduce anxiety in the victims.

She said that handling the conditions must be considered as part of the broad programme of addressing the menace of insurgency in the country.

Earlier, the Coordinator of the NWIC, Prophetess Nonnie Roberson, said the NGO would engage the required personnel to take care of patients with post traumatic stress disorder.

Roberson said that the move was part of the NGO’s contributions to help survivors overcome their experiences with terrorism.

“We have observed that many people have come out in different ways to help in taking care of victims of the recent bombings in Abuja, but the category with mental injuries have been forgotten.

“We found out that unless someone does something, these people’s lives will never be normal again,’’ she said. (NAN)

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