According to a United Nations official, people failing to report suspected cases of cholera to authorities has hampered the efforts to contain the cholera outbreak that has affected more 1,000 people in refugee camps in the northeast part of Nigeria.
With more than 20,000 people killed by Boko Haram’s insurgency, the U.N. estimates that 5.2 million people in northeast Nigeria do not have secure access to food or water, and with tens of thousands already in famine-like conditions.
The U.N. says that around 1.8 million people have fled their homes in the northeastern states due to lack of food and continuous violence in the region. The rainy season has contributed to the spread of disease in heavily populated camps that has many people living in unsanitary conditions.
According to health officials in the northeastern state of Borno, the state at the hub of the cholera outbreak and the insurgency of Boko Haram. As of September 11, there are now 1,626 of suspected cholera cases.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection spread by contaminated food and water. It can be easily treated with oral rehydration solution if caught early but can kill within hours if left untreated.
40 people have now died from the outbreak, which is up from 23 that was reported to the U.N. on Sept. 6.
Muna Garage camp, which is on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital, has the most cholera-related deaths recorded so far.
Apart from Muna Garage, the nearby camps of Bolori II, Custom House, and Ruwan Zafi have also reported cholera cases. Outbreaks have also been reported in the areas of Monguno and Dikwa as well.
Borno State reported that there were 945 suspected cases in the Muna area, 537 in Dikwa, and 144 in Monguno, as of Sept. 11.