33 children die in Borno IDP camp — MSF)
A non-governmental organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says at least 33 children have died in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Bama, Borno state.
The NGO said this in a report released on Friday.
“Lack of adequate assistance, including access to shelter and healthcare, is having severe consequences for young children arriving in the town,” MSF said in the statement.
“Since April 2018, more than 10,000 people have arrived in the Government Science Secondary School (GSSS) camp (where) shelter and healthcare assistance has not kept pace with the growing population.”
Katja Lorenz, MSF’s representative in Abuja, was quoted as saying well over 6,000 people in the camp “currently sleep in the open with no protection from the heat, rains and mosquitoes.”
“People do not even have basic utensils to cook their dry food rations, and water is not available in adequate quantities to meet the minimum needs,” Lorenz added.
“A lot of children are already in a critical state upon arrival, and poor assistance and access to healthcare further deteriorates their condition.
“Between 2 and 15 August, MSF teams reported that 33 young children had died in the camp. This figure is alarmingly high in relation to the total number of children under five years old, which is estimated to be around 6,000.”
‘NO AVAILABLE MEDICAL ATTENTION’
The organisation said it has started emergency nutritional and paediatric activities in the town following “severe” malnutrition being faced by children and other IDPs.
“Many children are severely malnourished and suffer from medical complications,” the statement read, adding: “The lack of an inpatient nutrition and paediatric health facility in Bama is having catastrophic consequences for children.”
“However, many people in Bama cannot afford to pay for private transport to take them to the state capital. And even if they can, inpatient nutritional centres are overwhelmed.
“MSF is calling on authorities to urgently address humanitarian needs before the situation deteriorates further.”