Cholera, Measles Outbreaks Ravage IDP Camps In Borno

Forced from their homes by Boko Haram insurgents amidst years of conflict, people seeking refuge in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in northeast Borno State now face the harrowing challenge of combating cholera and measles outbreaks within the camps.

According to data from the Borno State Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) from 2022 to 2024, at least 496 individuals have lost their lives to these diseases. 

The toll is staggering, with the year 2022 alone witnessing 362 fatalities out of 11,230 suspected cases, 137 of which were confirmed through laboratory investigations.

Among the tragic stories emerging from the camps is that of little Falmata, who succumbed to cholera.

 Her mother, Fatima Ibrahim, recounted the heart-wrenching ordeal, describing Falmata’s rapid decline and her own sense of helplessness as she watched her daughter slip away.

Similarly, Yagana Maina lost her two sons to similar circumstances, with cholera claiming the life of her six-year-old boy, adding to the pain of losing another child to tetanus earlier.

These outbreaks are exacerbated by overcrowding in IDP camps, inadequate water supply, and poor sanitation, creating fertile ground for communicable diseases to spread.

 The Muna IDP camp, for instance, has seen its population swell to over 120,000 since 2019, stretching already strained resources to the limit.

Efforts are underway to address these challenges, with authorities conducting awareness campaigns on hygiene and disease prevention in the camps. 

UNICEF has been actively involved in providing immunization against preventable diseases and distributing educational materials in local languages.

Medical experts emphasize the importance of improving water supply and sanitation to prevent further outbreaks, underscoring the urgent need for sustained efforts to alleviate the suffering of those caught in the crossfire of conflict and disease.

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