Tuesday, 29 September 2020
The hidden face of migration in the life of Roukayat Olalere

Originally from Nigeria, Roukayat is about 30 years old. She has lived outside her native country, settling in Tripoli (capital of Libya) since 2018, working as a housekeeper in an indigenous family. Her situation began to worry her about 8 months ago, she explains. Fallen ill and without assistance, she decided to return home. She arrived on September 04, 2020 in Agadez, Niger where Alarme Phone Sahara (APS) received the alert on the case of this young lady whose future is rocking between life and death and left to herself in a bus station.
On September 08, 2020, a Nigerian national came to the APS office to inform about the case of Roukayat who would be in a bus station in the area and suffering from general fatigue, cough and nausea. Having been prosecuted and arrested in the past with a sentence of 12 months in prison, the informant did not want to take the risk of dealing with Roukayat's case personally to avoid falling into the trap of the intelligence services that enforce Law 036-2015 in force since 2016 in Niger. However, his duty to assist prompted him to turn to APS. The APS team went to the station mentioned above in the company of the informant for translation in case the woman had communication barriers.

At the bus station, she was sitting in a corner next to her luggage, occupying a thin mattress covered by an old mat. Because of her physical appearance, she is stigmatized by some travelers and others who frequent the travel company where she takes refuge. The APS team approached Roukayat who is struggling desperately to build her confidence and take her to contribute so that she can be rescued as her condition requires immediate medical attention. The exchanges between the patient and the team have made it clear that Roukayat is not in contact with her family members. Despite her state of health, she keeps a telephone number of her sister who lives in Nigeria in mind. APS's telephone service has thus made it possible to re-establish the family link that had been broken for some time. Dehydrated and apparently undernourished, one of APS's actions was to provide food and drink to the woman, who is struggling to move and articulate words and phrases.

After this assistance, the APS team was surprised to see Roukayat brandishing a sum of 40,000 FCFA ± 62 € that people would have given her on the pretext that the sum was sent by her employers in Tripoli (Libya) to pay her transportation costs to continue her journey to Nigeria. In addition to this sum of money, the migrant handed her cell phone in a package. The money and the cell phone were entrusted to her compatriot (the informant) who kept it with the informant until the patient regained her senses.

Roukayat was then transported to a medical center in the urban commune of Agadez. The deteriorated condition of the patient caught the attention of the health team of the integrated health center (CSI Centre d'Agadez). Despite the flow of patients during this period of malaria, Roukayat had the privilege of being questioned to identify her complaints. After diagnosis, the case was referred to the Regional Hospital Center (CHR) of Agadez where first aid was administered to him and the related costs were covered by APS which had no other alternative but to commit itself physically, materially and financially due to the exigency of the case and the time coinciding with nightfall.

The next day, early in the morning, Roukayat was transported to the analysis laboratory of the CHR of Agadez for sputum and blood tests. While waiting for the results of the tests, APS has made contact with a local partner: "Médecins du Monde (MdM)". MdM's positive reaction was immediate and the patient was fully taken care of by this organization, which only required the availability of a companion. So APS was committed to paying a woman for this. Finally, the results confirmed that the young Roukayat had tuberculosis. So after three days of treatment, the young woman expressed the wish to return home to Nigeria and APS arranged for her to be transported to Kano where her sister lives. Finally Roukayat returned to her sister's home and sent a message of thanks and gratitude to APS and all that helped her.

In short, the case of Roukayat Olalere mobilized all the skills and resources of APS, which had to call upon the staff in charge of hygiene and health of the local association JNSDD AIKIN KASA in addition to the volunteer staff present in the city of Agadez. The partnership with MdM now makes it possible to deal with the cases of sick people who could request the activity of the association.