Cholera kills 28 people in Borno IDP camps

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On Saturday, the ministry had said the cholera toll was 14 in the town of Maiduguri, with most of the victims living in a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram violence.

The outbreak was first identified last week in the Muna Garage camp in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, which is the heart of jihadist group Boko Haram's brutal eight-year campaign to carve out an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.

UNICEF raised concern about 1.4 million displaced people, including 350,000 children under age five living in the cholera hotspots in the North East.

Most of the suspected cases and deaths are in Muna Garage, a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Maiduguri, while other victims come from neighbouring districts, it said.

"Cholera is hard 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 threat amongst many that children in Northeast Nigeria are battling today in order to survive".

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A cholera preparedness plan has been in place since before the rains began. Water is chlorinated at access points in the camps and across host communities in an effort to curb the spread of disease as the rainy season continues.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, yesterday told journalists that following investigations led by the Borno State Ministry of Health, with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partner agencies, cholera was confirmed by NCDC's Central Public Health Laboratory in Lagos.

He urged all states to report cases of cholera immediately, while improving on the timeliness of their reporting generally to prevent widespread outbreaks.He urged Nigerians to contact NCDC toll-free numbers: 0800-970000-10 SMS 08099555577 Whatsapp 07087110839.

According to OCHA: "By communicating at household level in this way, health partners have visited more than 1,300 households which resulted in the identification of 53 suspected cases of cholera".

Even in the face of a deadly cholera outbreak, the WASH sector remains critically underfunded.

Only 49% of funding UNICEF needs to provide 2 million people with access to clean water has been provided to date.

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