About 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in camps in Borno State, and host communities, are feared to contract the deadly coronavirus, the Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, has warned.
The Doctors without Borders raised the alarm, yesterday, in a statement by Scot Hamilton, Borno’s Communication Manager.
The statement read: “In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, malaria, malnutrition, and water-borne diseases, will not relent. About 1.5 million IDPs in Borno now face the spectre of the deadly virus that has claimed over 52,000 lives globally.
While lamenting the state of the IDP camps, Hamilton added: “Many live in vastly overcrowded camps, with poor water, and sanitation facilities, limited supplies of hygiene essentials, such as soap and water. There is also no space with the crowd makeshifts and tents.”
He noted that functioning health infrastructure in Borno is scarce, and the capacity to refer patients is extremely limited.
He disclosed that, since many people are already vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, essential humanitarian assistance must be maintained.
To him, water and sanitation facilities must be improved in the IDP camps, and frontline health worker on whom the population depends, must also have access to Personal Protective Equipment, PPE.
He stated that many IDPs already suffer from illnesses endemic to overcrowded settlements, such as water-borne diseases and respiratory tract infections like pneumonia, which has been identified as a significant threat, when coupled with Covid-19.