Cholera has broken out in the Muna Garage IDPs camp, aid group Médecins Sans Frontières said on Thursday, bringing disease to communities already underfed and living in squalor.
The outbreak in Maiduguri, Borno State, confirms aid groups’ fears that the rainy season could spread disease in camps for the internally displaced that are often already unsanitary.
About 1.8 million have abandoned their homes because of violence or food shortages, U.N. agencies say, and many of them live in camps for the displaced throughout northeast, particularly in Maiduguri.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, is increasing its “efforts to prevent further deaths and the spread of cholera in Maiduguri”, the group said.
MSF said it had set up a 40-bed cholera treatment unit, which has admitted 70 patients, mostly from the Muna Garage camp.
“Following heavy rains, the camp is partly flooded, making the already poor sanitary conditions at the camp even worse, which is an additional risk factor during a cholera outbreak,” MSF said, adding that a potential case has been reported from another part of Maiduguri.
“Since last weekend, we have witnessed a steady increase in the number of patients at our treatment centre and at the rehydration point in Muna camp,” said Anne-Cecile Niard, MSF project coordinator in the statement.