Nigeria; Many Feared Dead as Cholera Hits Refugee Camps

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Medecins Sans Frontieres says that the cholera outbreak is due to downpours in the last three days that caused floods at the affected camps. At least 1.8 million people are living in camps after fleeing the militant group Boko Haram.

Benue Flood: Tuface, Annie Arrive Makurdi IDP Camp

The popular musician, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as TuFace, has arrived at the camp for internally displaced persons in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The artist, a native of Benue State, arrived at 10:40 a.m. to donate gifts to thousands of families who are urgently taking shelter at the camp.

An estimated 110,000 people are believed to have been affected by the massive flood that destroyed homes of residents following days of rainfall last week.

TuFace arrived with his wife and actress, Annie, and is expected to perform briefly under the Benue Flood Relief Initiative.

Also, the minister for health, Isaac Adewole, has called on development partners for more support to assist Benue State flood victims.

Some communities in Benue State were last week ravaged by floods which washed away villages, farmlands, food storage facilities and left many people displaced.

A statement released by the ministry of health on Tuesday said it is collaborating with Benue State Government Emergency Management Agency, BSEMA, to assist citizens affected by the flood and ensure the control of diseases that may arise as a result.

To achieve this, the ministry has established a “communication and escalation path” with the BSEMA with clear instructions to refer all emergencies and advanced critical cases to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, in the state.

The minister has also issued a circular mandating FMC hospital staff to provide treatment for all flood victims at no cost.

Mr. Adewole who has been monitoring and coordinating the health ministry’s intervention noted that thousands of people have already registered at the emergency medical camp opened at the international market in Makurdi and the “number is increasing on an hourly basis as more residents are reporting for medical checks.”

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that 3423 people are currently in the camp including men, 531; women, 642; children (over 5 years), 1387; under five kids, 582; pregnant women, 92; lactating mothers, 115 and 74 persons living with disabilities.

The minister noted that there will be a need for maternal, neonatal and children health interventions and adequate provision for life saving drugs.

The ministry said it has been reaching out to about 700 households who are within the communities and churches while the Air Force medical services team have now taken over the camp clinic.

The team from the ministry were also asked to compile the comprehensive list of pregnant women and children under- five for close monitoring, supervision and care.

Benue Floods – Three Dead, 110,000 Risk Contracting Disease

Officials of the Child Protection Network and the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, BSEMA, have said three persons died in the recent flooding in the state, while 110 000 survivors risked contracting diseases.

“There were three deaths, two adults and one child. At the Government approved IDP Camp, up to 4 families are reported to be accommodated in one room. This suggests the possible risk of an epidemic as some hospitals in affected locations are reported to have shut down due to the flood,” the agency noted.

The situation report by BSEMA on flooding in the state compared with that issued by Child Protection Network official, Nathaniel Awuapila, on Monday, and obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, revealed that 12 local governments are affected in the disaster.

“There is a strong likelihood of the situation is getting worse as we are only beginning to experience the peak of the rainy season. There is also the possibility of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon being released.

The basis of this analysis is reconnaissance by professional civil society actors and statements by Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency,” Mr. Awuapila said.

The network appealed for humanitarian assistance from the public to assist victims of the disaster adding that most victims had lost their life savings.

“Family livelihoods are at significant risk. Some families engaged in exclusive agricultural pursuits who are caught in the emergency have lost their crops, their houses having also been swept away. Some petty trading businesses have closed down, which suggests harder times for the affected families.

“Particularly vulnerable groups include nursing mothers, pregnant women, children 0-5 years, children with disabilities, children with ailments, and the elderly,” it said.

The report by the organisation stressed further that “affected children run the risk of losing schooling opportunities as schools are flooded. Malnutrition, especially among children is a real expected danger as many children may also be exposed to infections and diseases.”

Apart from the state capital Makurdi, rural areas affected by the flood according to the BSEMA include Tse-Agberagba, Tse-Gaase, Tse-Kyor Kpev, and Tse Anyon.

At Mabpupuu, Tse-Gabiin is affected, with many houses and farms reportedly washed away.

In Buruku, Agyo, Dogo, Baja, and Buruku towns are affected. In Gwer East, Ikpayongo and Aliade have also been affected.

In Katsina Ala, Hausa Quarters and communities along Zaki Biam Road are also included in the tragedy while in Okpokwu, Ugbokolo town is affected, particularly the location known as Jericho.