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Measles outbreak in IDP camp kills seven children


Victims during the outbreak of measles at the Abagena camp of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Makurdi, Benue State.

The outbreak of measles at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Abagena in Makurdi, Benue State has claimed the lives of not less than seven children.

A parent and one of the displaced persons, Tyowua Orshio, whose two children were in critical condition, told The Guardian at the camp yesterday that the camp has been hit by the measles outbreak in the past nine days during which the deaths were recorded.

He said the camp officials have provided drugs for his sick children but their condition was not getting any better, adding that no fewer than seven children have died from measles in the camp, while others were still lying critically ill.

Another internally displaced person, Sarah Tyohen said three pregnant women who were affected by the measles had miscarriage.

Sources at the camp said about 10 persons have died from vehicular accidents and other diseases but not necessarily from measles as claimed by the IDPs.

One of the camp health officials from Network BENGONET, Iorchir Terlumun, confirmed that a total of 23 children have been treated.

But, the state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Cecilia Ojabo told The Guardian on telephone that they were yet to ascertain the state of the disease and as such could not give a definite figure of the casualties.

However, Chairman of Religious Freedom Coalition, a faith-based organisation in Washington DC, Williams Murray, has expressed concerns that internally displaced persons in Nigeria was far worse than that of Iraq and Syria.

He told journalists shortly after his team’s fact-finding visit to the camp that the humanitarian situation he met on ground was far more pitiable than what they used to hear, see and read in the media.

Also, a member of the team and an International Human Rights Lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, warned against food insecurity.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) in collaboration with Pro-Health International as well as the West African College of Surgeons has embarked on a free medical outreach in Taraba State.

The outreach took place at Takum General Hospital in Takum local council of the state.

Head of Humanitarian, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of the PCNI, Dr. Sidi Ali Mohammed, said the outreach was aimed at reaching out to the less privileged ones, especially those who are displaced as a result of the insurgency in the neighboring Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

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Benue stateIDPmeasles
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