No fewer than 170 Victims of Human Trafficking (VoTs), including returned migrants in Edo, benefitted from a free medical outreach on Saturday in Benin.
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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the outreach was done under the Strengthening Niger-Nigeria Cooperation on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings project.
The Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said the project was necessary to reduce the impact of psychological trauma on VOTs and returned migrants.
Waziri-Azi said: ”The need for total wellbeing of victims is very important; it is very key that their mental and physical well-being is intact so that they can fit properly into the society.”
She was represented by Mrs Kehinde Akomolafe, Director of Counselling and Rehabilitation of the agency.
Also, Dr Mojisola Sodeinde, Head of Region, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) West Africa, said the project was funded by the kingdom of Netherland.
Sodeinde said the project was aimed at building capacity of shelter operators in identification, care, reception, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims.
Represented by Adeniyi Bakre, Programme Assistant, ICMPD, Sodeinde, said the outreach was to provide medical assistance and welcome packs to VOTs upon reception, and enlighten them on health issues.
Earlier, Dr Isreal Aina, a mental health physician, commended the organisers of the programme for bringing medical care to the victims and migrants.
Aina said “we empathise with everyone who has experienced one form of trauma associated with human trafficking and we are thankful to God that help is coming your way”.
Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, Commander, NAPTIP Benin Zone, said “there is always a need for this kind of project because almost every victim of human trafficking come back with one form of health issue.
Nwanwenne kicked against trafficking in persons, noting that it had continued to enslave victims and make them go through both physical and mental trauma.
dailyflickshow reports that the project is implemented by ICMPD through support from NAPTIP for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Niger Republic