The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), says it has a target to offer free medical outreach to 640 victims of human trafficking across some states.
Mr Adeniyi Bakre, the representative of the International Centre for Migration on Policy Development (ICMPD), disclosed this on Friday in Katsina at a one-day medical outreach.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the medical outreach was organised by NAPTIP in collaboration with ICMPD, under the framework of “Strengthening Niger-Nigeria Cooperation on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings”.
According to Bakre, during the first phase of the medical outreach, no fewer than 290 victims of the human trafficking were treated and supported across Abuja, Edo and Lagos.
“Recently we have conducted the same medical outreach in Kano State, where about 100 persons benefited, while in Katsina, 80 have now benefited from the exercise.
“We are also going to Enugu where we are expected to offer free treatment to about 70 persons, then we return again to Lagos, based on a request to attend to about 100 more victims.
“Aside the victims, we have also trained about 150 theater operators and caregivers on respecting the rights of the victims.”
Bakre disclosed that the project, which was being funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was to bring to reality the aspirations of Nigeria and Niger republic in cooperating to mitigate the menace of human trafficking.
He said it was also to provide support to victims of trafficking.
He explained that the outreach was also targeted at creating awareness on the ills and dangers of trafficking in persons (TIP) and other transnational-organised crimes.
Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said that the outreach had become necessary to address issues of trauma and sexual exploitation of victims of human trafficking (VoTs).
Waziri-Azi, represented by the Director, Counseling and Rehabilitation, NAPTIP, Mrs Angela Agbayekhai, said the victims always had medical issues which might not even be known.
“The programme will enable them to get medical attention and drugs so that they can fit properly into the society. We hope to extend the outreach to some other states,” she said.
She commended the ICMPD for supporting the project and advised parents and guardians against allowing their children and wards to leave Nigeria to seek for greener pastures.
Earlier, the NAPTIP Director in Katsina, Mr Musa Aliyu, lauded the initiative and called on the beneficiaries to make proper use of it.
The victims were also given welcome packs, including bags, perfumes, slippers, towels, soap and cream. (NAN)