Displacement & MigrationImpactNews

Former Detainee With Tuberculosis Complications Receives Help

The subject of HumAngle's report, who suffered from tuberculosis complications, received a life-saving donation, but it is barely enough to support his treatment and family for long.

Adam Modu, an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, who took ill after the military detained him, has received some financial support to get him back on his feet.

He is one of thousands of men and women arbitrarily arrested by the Nigerian Army and kept at various detention facilities for years without trial in connection with the war on insurgency.

HumAngle first reported Adam’s experience in Oct. 2020. He had been separated from his family following their displacement from Banki, an area in Borno State, and then detained at Giwa barracks, a notorious military detention centre in the same state.

He fell ill weeks into his detention and was then transferred to the Borno Maximum Security Prison. Between 2018 and his eventual release in Nov. 2021, he was transferred from one hospital to another by the prison authorities, with little resources spent towards getting him properly treated despite existing laws that mandate this.

During a visit to Maiduguri last week, HumAngle met one of Adam’s physicians at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). He explained that he had initially been treated for abdominal tuberculosis. Anti-tuberculosis services are provided free of charge at Nigerian public health facilities, thanks largely to international funding support.

What Adam currently battles with, according to the doctor, is Chronic Liver Disease.

Also known as Cirrhosis, it is a “progressive deterioration of liver functions [which] include the production of clotting factors and other proteins, detoxification of harmful products of metabolism, and excretion of bile”. 

One of the disease’s symptoms is the buildup of fluid in the abdomen, known as ascites. Others include gallstones, itching, jaundice, kidney failure, muscle loss, fatigue, easy bruising, weight loss, and loss of appetite.

While Chronic Liver Disease is incurable, it can be managed with lifelong medication.

Adam has been taking a combination of three drugs to help with his condition: Spironolactone, Furosemide, and Livolin. HumAngle understands that they cost about ₦12,000 monthly.

Adam Modu. Photo: ‘Kunle Adebajo/HumAngle

On Thursday, Jan. 27, this media organisation handed him the sum of ₦125,000, which had been raised by staff members and readers of the platform, to support his treatment, among other essential needs.

“I am grateful to HumAngle, who have shown concern and helped me,” Adam said, adding that he would now be able to return to his old business of selling women’s jewellery and look after his family.

“We are grateful that you have shown concern for my son. May God also support you,” his mother, Aisa Aje, prayed. 

Because of the hardship the family was going through, worsened by the suspension of the provision of monthly food allowances to IDPs, Aisa, who is nearly 70, has had to join other displaced people to fetch firewood from the forest areas to make ends meet. She showed HumAngle blisters she had sustained on the soles of her feet as a result.


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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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