Musdapha Ilo, Maduguri
The Borno State Health commissioner, Salma Anas Kolo, disclosed on Sunday that a total of 27 persons have died from the outbreak of cholera in one of the camps for internally displaced persons in Biu Borno State.
This contradicts the figure of only five casualties given by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and eight suggested by the Nigerian Red Cross.
Giving a breakdown of the deaths, Kolo said out of the 375 cholera cases recorded, 11 victims have died while receiving treatment in hospital and that another 16 died at the camps.
She said 30 cholera patients are still on admission in various hospitals and are receiving treatment.
The commissioner said the disease was contacted as a result of the poor hygiene condition at the camp which shelters over 10, 000 displaced persons and that the state government was partnering the United Naton’s Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and the Red Cross to help improve the living condition at the camps and also provide medical services.
She said the state government has so far provided drugs worth N10 million to combat the epidemic and that in addition to the its health team, doctors from Medicine Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) have also been dispatched to assist at the camps’ clinics.
“We have already swung into action. All necessary measures have been taken including the deployment of the Borno state technical team, our development partners of UNICEF and the Nigerian Red Cross,” she said.
Kolo said in order to clamp down on further spread of the disease, additional pit latrines and a clinic were erected, adding that this would help to decongest the existing facilities at the displaced persons’ camps in Biu.