AFRICA/NIGERIA - Over 5 million children risk cholera in the Chad Lake region

Monday, 10 July 2017


Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - With the arrival of the rainy season in the Chad Lake region, more than 5 million children are at risk of contracting cholera or hepatitis E. Due to the violence of Boko Haram, humanitarian aid is almost impossible. According to UNICEF Regional Directors for West and Central Africa, rains will further complicate what is already a dire humanitarian situation, as millions of children made vulnerable by conflict are now facing the potential spread of diseases.
Insecurity makes the distribution of humanitarian aid more difficult in areas most affected by hunger and lack of food. Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene conditions can lead to cholera outbreaks. Cholera in particular affects children, causing diarrhea and vomiting that may lead to death due to dehydration and is transmitted through contaminated water and food. Hepatitis E affects the liver and is fatal for pregnant women.
Since the beginning of 2017, 33 women have already died in the Nigerian region of Diffa. The region, in the south of Niger bordering Nigeria, welcomes over 250,000 displaced and refugees of both Countries. More than 5 million people in Northeast Nigeria, the area most affected by terrorism, needs urgent humanitarian aid. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 10/7/2017)