Besieged Nigeria gripped by new disease outbreaks

From AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, (CAJ News) – OUTBREAKS of bilharzia, diarrhea, malaria and whooping cough have been reported at overstretched camps hosting thousands of refugees northeast of Nigeria.This has coincided with sharp spike in the number of spontaneous returns from neighbouring Cameroon.Scores have left the Central African country while it has been reported the Cameroonian government forces had forcibly returned some Nigerian refugees back to their country in spite of a tripartite agreement signed with Nigeria and United Nations refugee agencies.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA)reported many cities hosting internally displaced persons and refugee returnees such as Bama, Banki, Damasak, Damboa, Dikwa, Gwoza, Ngala and Rann, had their camps bursting at the seams and mobile clinics were currently receiving more than 150 people a day with many people sufferingfrom the aforementioned diseases.This exacerbates a dire situation with the West African country battling a deadly outbreak of meningitis that has claimed over 1 000 lives in recent months.Meanwhile, returnees from Cameroon are said to be highly vulnerable, often in a poor state of health, and very often entirely dependent on aid.“Some of them cannot sustain themselves because of the movement restrictions enforced which make farming almost impossible,” stated an
OCHA spokesperson.

– CAJ News

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