IDP Camps: Cholera Threatens More Than 1 Million People
There appears to be more challenges for displaced victims of Boko Haram at several refugee camps across Northeast Nigeria.
There is cholera outbreak in some camps and at least 1.4 million people are under threat.
Chances are they could all die of this deadly disease if nothing is urgently done.
Already, the hygiene conditions in those camps are already very poor.
Cholera is a terrible disease. It spreads through contaminated food and drinking water, causes diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
It can kill within hours if left untreated, but most patients recover if treated promptly with oral rehydration salts.
The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF said on Thursday that an estimated 28 people have died from cholera in the conflict-hit region, while about 837 are suspected to have been infected with the disease.
Of the sum there are at least 145 children under the age of five.
The outbreak was first identified last week in the Muna Garage camp in Maiduguri.
“Cholera is difficult for young children to withstand at any time, but becomes a crisis for survival when their resilience is already weakened by malnutrition, malaria and other waterborne diseases,” UNICEF’s Pernille Ironside said in a statement.
“Cholera is one more threat amongst many that children in northeast Nigeria are battling today to survive,” added Ironside, who is UNICEF’s deputy representative in Nigeria.
UNICEF said aid agencies have set up a cholera treatment centre at the Muna Garage camp, chlorinated water in camps and host communities to curb the outbreak, and mobilised volunteers and local leaders to refer suspected cases to health facilities.
The latest figures represent a 3.3% fatality rate - well above the 1% rate that the World Health Organization rates as an emergency.
The short incubation period of two hours to five days means the disease can spread with explosive speed.