Abuja - Eze Duruiheoma, the Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) on Monday decried the poor sanitary condition of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Duruiheoma made the observation when he visited the camp at New Kuchigoro, Abuja as part of activities lined up to commemorate the 2015 World Population Day.
He explained that the visit was to avail the commission of the condition of internally displaced persons in the camp.
"The living condition here is deplorable (but) it can be made better, even though I see determination on the faces of people, the people who live here, there is determination to survive.
"In the people who are assisting them, there is determination to help, I think that everything is working well,
"But the issue of sanitation is something that needs the attention of government.
"I honestly sympathise with government on this, because its one out of many. And I don’t know how they can provide for them, but these people are Nigerians and they need our care, attention and our help.
"So, anything that can be provided to them to make life better is a worthwhile exercise."
Also read: Osinbajo commends Borno Govt., NEMA over IDPs' welfare
According to him, the essence of the World Population Day is to draw attention to the plight of this group of people.
He, however, said it was not enough to draw attention to their plight without addressing them.
He said: "In the interim, let’s do the best we can to make sure this people are happy, they may not be comfortable, but let them be minimally comfortable.
"In the long term, let us get to the root and address whatever is responsible for the situation, the sooner it ends the better for the IDPs in Nigeria. That is what we are advocating."
Also speaking, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, the Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Board said there were 1,500 internally displaced persons in the Kuchingoro camp.
Mohammed disclosed that the board was working closely with a few organisations to ensure that life in the camp was made better.
"We are working with the National Population Commission, Social Development Secretariat, Economic Planning and our partners like the Society for Family Health (SFH) to make sure that life is better in this environment.
"We on the health side realised that since this is National Population Day, we need to carry out HIV counselling and testing for the mothers and the fathers so that they will know their status and know how to manage them.
"Nigeria is 2 per cent of the world’s population and also contributes 30 per cent of Mother to child transmission of HIV.
"So, we need to actually talk to the communities about the issue of birth registration and population control, particularly family planning and child-spacing, that is why we are here."
A highlight of the event was the provision of free medical outreach by the Board, SFH and other Non-Governmental Organisations.