MSF Clarifies Mandate In Rivers

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, being welcomed by the Bishop, Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Budu Ihunwo, during the ceremonial enthronement service in honour of the cleric at St. Paul's Cathedral Church, Diobu, Port Harcourt, last Friday.

The Medecins Sans Fronteres (MSF) – (a. k. a Doctors without Borders) has denied claims that it collaborated with a non-governmental organisation, Bridge the Gap Initiative (BGI) in its recent effort to end drug abuse and illicit sex in schools in Rivers State.
A statement by the Port Harcourt Outreach Manager of MSF, Kory Funk, explained that the clarification became necessary following media reports, last week, that it collaborated with the NGO to end drug abuse and illicit sex in schools in Rivers State.
Funk said, “This statement is incorrect; MSF’s only affiliation with Bridge the Gap Initiative and its July events was to provide a small quantity of awareness materials and to attend two days of activities as guests to discuss the issue of sexual violence and access to MSF services in Port Harcourt. We do not have an active collaboration.”
The outreach manager said this was imperative to ensure that victims of rape and sexual violence were aware of the services of MSF in the state.
Funk emphasised that, “MSF currently has a sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) project in Port Harcourt, which provides free and confidential medical and psychological care to victims of rape and sexual violence. We also assist with social support.
“MSF’s outreach team often travels to schools, universities, health centres, police stations, and other locations to raise awareness about SGBV and why it is important for victims of rape and sexual violence to seek care,” Funk added.
The statement noted that “MSF provides these services at two clinics in Port Harcourt – one at Orogbum Primary Health Centre near the Garrison bus stop in Ogbunabali, and the other at Eliozu Model Health Centre off the Eliozu flyover”.
It would be recalled that the founder and Executive Director of BGI, Mrs. Favour Eva Amado, had said the group partnered with the medical NGO to create awareness among the youth on how to end drug abuse and illicit sex in schools.
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