Boko Haram: How our husbands are tormented by nightmares – Wives of soldiers
Wives of Nigerian soldiers fighting the Boko Haram insurgency war in the North-East have lamented that their husbands are haunted by nightmares, insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep) and other disorders whenever they are back home.
According to SaharaReporters, the women, under the aegis of Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, stated during a courtesy call to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, at Army headquarters in Abuja.
The DEPOWA President, Mrs Victoria Irabor, said officers and soldiers usually return from conflict zones with physical injuries and suppressed emotional trauma, adding that these psychological changes call for a post-traumatic stress disorder treatment.
According to her, DEPOWA had concluded plans to establish a state-of-the-art Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnostic centre, saying consultations with medical experts showed that those behavioural changes were triggered by trauma and could be known as PTSD.
“One of the major issues is the distinct behavioural traits of returning officers such as nightmares, anxiety, insomnia, and bursts of anger, among others. These were not synonymous with our husbands’ characters before deployment.
“Consequently, we intend to collaborate with the Chief of Army Staff to provide solutions by uniting our voices. It is our desire to have a reintegrated structure for our officers and husbands to ensure that they return to us in good health and total wellness.
“It is for this reason that I wish to propose the establishment of a PTSD evaluation and rehabilitation centre.
“It will evaluate, counsel and provide adequate support to officers, soldiers and by extension their wives prior to reintegration from conflict zones.
“We have a good number of medical facilities across military formations in the country, but they do not provide thorough diagnostic services to tackle some of these emerging challenges,” she said.
Responding, Attahiru commended DEPOWA for its foresight in addressing the physical and emotional needs of personnel and their families.
The Army Chief said the various programmes being executed across barracks were beneficial to all, assuring that all the services would support DEPOWA.
The issue of soldiers’ welfare and allowances has been controversial in recent times with some of the personnel also claiming they were not adequately remunerated.
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