7 Borno IDPs Die Of Cholera

MAIDUGURI—INSPITE of measures to contain the outbreak of cholera in Maiduguri metropolis of Borno State, the disease has killed seven people at the Internally-Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp at Muna and Dala Lawanti cholera treatment centres.

However, 100 patients have been discharged in the last three weeks.

The Medical Director of Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, Anna Cillers, disclosed this in Maiduguri, yesterday, while briefing journalists on measures to prevent further spread of cholera in Maiduguri metropolis and camps.

She said over 200 patients were admitted at the Dala treatment centre, since the outbreak of cholera, last month.

Her words: "In the last 24 hours in Maiduguri metropolis of Borno State, we have received over 50 patients at MSF’s Cholera Treatment Unit at Dala. The total number of patients admitted from the start of the outbreak till now is over 200, with 100 patients discharged and seven dead."

Cillers said MSF is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other organisations to respond to outbreaks and diagnoses of cholera in the metropolis and resettlement camps,

…on further outbreak

On containing further spread, she said: "We have already established a 40 bed Cholera Treatment Unit, CTU, in Dala, which has so far admitted 70 patients.

"MSF has also set up an Oral Re-hydration Point, ORP, in Muna camp and has a team of 14 Community Health Workers, CHW, who are helping to find new cases and trace community members who may have come into contact with affected patients.

"Most of the cholera patients come from Muna Garage, a camp for people who fled other parts of the state due to the ongoing conflict between the Nigerian forces and Boko Haram."

Callers attributed the outbreak of cholera to downpours in the last three days, adding that this led to the flooding of Muna camp.

"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. A potential case has also now been reported from another part of the city.

"Since last weekend, we have witnessed a steady increase in the number of patients at our treatment centre and at the re-hydration point in Muna camp.

"We are in the process of expanding the capacity of our treatment centre in Dala to 50 beds and are exploring the possibility of opening another treatment centre close to the most affected areas.

She, however, noted that the number of beds that are currently planned may not be enough to cope at the peak of outbreaks.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, said health workers in Maiduguri are on top of the "cholera epidemic" and the ministry has taken measures to contain it and prevent further spread.

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