The Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has alerted Nigerians that about 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno camps in Nigeria and host communities may contract Coronavirus.
The Doctors without Borders raised the alarm: “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”. This wasin a statement by Scot Hamilton, Borno’s Communication Manager.
Hamilton said many in the camp live in vastly overcrowded camps, with poor water and sanitation facilities, limited supplies of hygiene essentials, such as soap and water and that there is also no space with the crowed makeshifts and tents.
He also revealed that functioning health infrastructure is hard to come by in Borno and the capacity to refer patients almost impossible.
Consequentially, many people are vulnerable to the outbreak of the disease – hence essential humanitarian assistance must be maintained.
It is imperative that water and sanitation facilities must be improved in IDP camps. Also, frontline health workers on whom the population depends must also have access to personal protective equipment (PPE).
He said 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.