EMERGENCY RESPONSE PREPAREDNESS: CHALLENGES OF FIRST RESPONDERS IN MANAGING BOKO HARAM CASUALTY IN KANO, NORTH-WESTERN NIGERIA
This is a descriptive retrospective study of mass human-made disaster of Boko haram background that occurred in Kano from 2012 to 2015. The emergency preparedness and the challenges faced by the first responders were investigated with a view to improving the practice to international standards. Objective: This paper aimed at reviewing the challenges of first responders in managing Boko Haram casualty in Kano, North-western Nigeria with a view to delineating the best practice of handling casualties of mass disasters. Method: Six (6) focused group discussion (FGD) involving 36 participants from the responding agencies were conducted to explore the challenges faced during the Boko Haram emergency management. Data from the official reports of security agencies and emergency service providers as well as Nigeria newspaper reports were also reviewed. The standard protocols for disaster victim’s identification and management developed by the World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross and the INTERPOL were analyzed and compared with the response of the main responding agencies in Kano. Results: The findings indicate lack of sufficient equipment as the main challenge faced by the responders, followed by inadequate training, lack of effective co-ordination and poor safety of responders. Conclusion and Recommendation: Researchers concluded that first responders in Kano are working below the International standards and have faced major challenges of insufficient equipment and inadequate training during Boko haram insurgency. It was recommended that the state government should provide enabling environment for first responders to work in cases of disaster. First responders need to improve their co-ordination; ensure best practices and obey local and international humanitarian laws.