Vulnerable Populations In Emergencies

By Anthony Ajegu

As most of the population suffers through life, barely surviving,

disappointed and confused day after day, hopeless, wondering what

happened to their strong and beautiful country; it is in the media’s

power to restore, if not some of our quality of life, at least a bit

of our peace of mind. – Steven Van Zandt
Vulnerable populations are the group of people considered to be at

greater risk for developing health problems usually triggered by

socio-economic, religious and political turmoil; have limited access

to resources, poverty-stricken, marginalized socio-cultural status,

lack of education, chronic mental illness, homelessness,

incarceration, sexuality, multiple losses etc.
Most regions of the world are experiencing the highest number of

people displaced by conflicts and crises – about 60 million, according

to the latest figures from the United Nations. These conflicts that

are usually exacerbated by political strife always leads to the

displacement of residents, citizens of a given country, thereby

compelling them to seek refuge in neighboring or other countries,

andin other countries, ‘they’ are seen as refugees, as well as

And immigrants that are not properly documented are vulnerable, prone

to morbidity, dearth and perpetual phobia. They are disconnected from

receiving social security aid of the Government. Social Security is a

poverty safety net meant to prevent Nationals from falling below the

poverty line, through payment of stipulated stipends to documented

Nationals who have no visible means of survival especially the

unemployed and the elderly.
Vulnerable populace can be seen in penitentiaries, the street, health

centers, camps, orphanage homes etc. Factors that contribute to

vulnerability in populations serve as barriers to the set of

populace’s ability to access palliative and health care at the end of

life. Hospitals, clinics and health centers are venues where

palliative care is provided.
In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development

Program recommended that 11 July be observed by the international

community as World Population Day so as to focus attention on the

urgency and importance of population issues, by educating youths to

avoid unwanted pregnancies by using reasonable and youth-friendly

measures; by protecting and empowering citizens, both male and female,

young and old; by ensuring easy access of reproductive health services

everywhere as part of the basic primary health for each couple; by

demanding for some effective laws and policies-implementation in order

to protect girl child rights etc.
Reaching out to the set of populace who are vulnerable, marginalized

and displaced from the society and experiencing chronic, terminal and

psychological illness is strategic to assuring all people can

experience compassionate care and the dividends of democracy.

Anthony Ajegwu
Community Coordinator – Professionals for Humanity 08088308080

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."