Minors worst affected as refugees succumb to hunger
7From OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – MORE than 1 000 people, mostly children, have died of starvation at a refugee camp situated at a Nigerian city that is among the worst affected by the Boko Haram terror.
Doctors reported in Bama in Borno State, northeast of the country, 1 233 people have died of hunger over the past year.
This includes 480 children who had contracted severe acute malnutrition, which is the deadliest form of malnutrition.
Worryingly, hundreds more children are at risk amid doctors confirming a rapid nutritional screening of more than 800 children found that 19 percent were suffering from malnutrition.
Some 24 000 people, including 15 000 children, among them 4 500 are aged under five, are sheltered in a camp located on a hospital compound.
This week, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), reported it had discovered a health crisis, referring 16 severely malnourished children at immediate risk of death to the MSF in-patient therapeutic feeding centre in Maiduguri, the Borno capital.
In Bama, MSF reported, since May 23, at least 188 people have died in the camp—almost six people per day—mainly from diarrhea and malnutrition.
“This is the first time MSF has been able to access Bama, but we already know the needs of the people there are beyond critical,” said Ghada Hatim, MSF head of mission in Nigeria.
“We are treating malnourished children in medical facilities in Maiduguri and see the trauma on the faces of our patients who have witnessed and survived many horrors.”
Borno State is the epicenter of the Boko Haram crisis that has claimed the lives of over 20 000 and displaced more than 3 million.
– CAJ News
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