Cologne/Maiduguri. An outbreak of cholera in the Lake Chad region has infected almost 3,000 people and killed around 100 with the death toll rising daily. Malteser International teams are responding to the outbreak, and have distributed hygiene articles to nearly 30,000 people in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria. The teams have also provided special disinfectants to prevent further spread of germs.
In addition to educating communities on the importance of handwashing with soap, Malteser International is helping to contain the outbreak by training local health teams in the production of a glucose-electrolyte solution that compensates for water losses in cholera patients.
Borno is currently home to 1.36 million people who have fled the violence of the terror militia Boko Haram. Many have found shelter in camps for internally displaced persons.
"Water-borne diseases are a constant health threat in the Lake Chad region, especially in the rainy season.” said Sid Peruvemba, Program Director at Malteser International. “With large areas of stagnant waters and overflowing latrines, the risk of water contamination increases. The poor state of sanitary facilities in the region also makes it difficult to prevent the spread of germs.”
The humanitarian situation for the people in the northeast of Nigeria remains dire. “The Boko Haram insurgency has caused massive displacement in the region and has disrupted food supplies, leading to a major food crisis.” Peruvemba said. “Many people are no longer able to feed themselves because they can’t work on their farms.”
The Lake Chad emergency is now affecting around 17 million people across northeastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, western Chad and south-east Niger, with 7.7 million people in Nigeria alone dependent on humanitarian aid for survival.
Malteser International has been working in Nigeria since 2017, providing vulnerable displaced persons with clean water, adequate toilets, and hygiene supplies, while training local communities on good hygiene practices.
Note to editors:
Sid Peruvemba, Malteser International’s Program Director, and Jan Uelkes, Program Officer for Malteser International in Nigeria, are available for interviews.
Tel.: +49 (0)221 9822 7181
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Account number: 20 20 270
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Reference: “Cholera Nigeria”