The Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned that about 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno camps and host communities may contract Coronavirus.
The Doctors without Borders raised the alarm, yesterday, in a statement by Scot Hamilton, Borno’s Communication Manager.
It 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 IDP camps, Hamilton said: “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 crowed makeshifts and tents.”
He noted that functioning health infrastructure in Borno is scarce, and the capacity to refer patients 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 IDP camps, and 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.