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Health and Health Needs of the Elderly in Camps for Internally Displaced People in Nigeria: Implication for Social Work Practice

This article examines the accessibility of healthcare services by the elderly within a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Bakassi, Cross River State in Nigeria. Access to healthcare by the elderly within these camps is a primary concern due to age related conditions resulting from displacement and limited resources. This paper stems from a qualitative study that employed a phenomenological research design. A purposive sampling technique was used to recruit 40 elderly persons (12 males and 28 females). In contrast, a convenience sampling technique was used to recruit two health workers and two government officials for in-depth interviews. Three themes emerged from the findings: access to healthcare services, healthcare needs, and obstacles to accessing healthcare services. Sub-themes from these themes included psycho-social support, physical health, and a clean environment. The study’s findings revealed that the elderly desire psycho-social support to solve their mental health problems arising from the effects of displacement. The findings of this study suggest that social workers and other officials should lead the way in helping displaced elders with complex healthcare requirements. The government should also completely implement Nigeria’s internal displacement strategy. More research is needed on aging requirements in Nigerian refugee camps.

Chika Ikeorji et al.
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Journal article - abstract only