Depression and Occupational Reintegration among IDPs in Jos

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Gwang T Rwang
Grace M. Kibanja
Kajumba M. Mayanja

Abstract

The recurring conflicts between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and local farmers in the north central part of Nigeria have led to the loss of lives, properties, and displacement of persons into camps. This study examines predictors of depression and occupational readiness for community reintegration among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Jos, Nigeria. This is a cross-sectional study of 248 adult IDPs selected through a systematic random sampling conducted in a selected camp in Jos. Depression was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory- II scale (BDI-II), a 21item scale that evaluates key symptoms of depression and a self-developed questionnaire to assess occupational readiness for community reintegration. The results indicated that depression is associated with occupational readiness for community reintegration (β = -.252, R2 = 0.064, P = 0.00). The study established that IDPs suffered from both physical and cognitive symptoms of depression which affected their occupational readiness into their communities. The result of this study points to the fact that IDPs are likely to experience both physical and cognitive symptoms of depression such as fatigue, reduced interest and motivation, difficulty in concentration and attention which impair their work function thus, affecting their occupational readiness to reintegrate into their communities. It is recommended that regular psychiatric services be provided to IDPs by the Federal Ministry of Health as part of medical services routine. Also, government at all levels should take concrete steps in resolving the re-occurring herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts by creating ranches for the herdsmen in Nigeria.

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