14 people die of cholera in northeast Nigeria

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Fourteen people have died of cholera in northeast Nigeria, with most of the victims living in a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram violence, the health ministry has said. “Up to September 1, 14 deaths have been reported,” the health ministry said in a statement Saturday, adding that “the total number of suspected cholera cases stands at 186.”

Most of the suspected cases and deaths are in Muna Garage, a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno — which is the epicentre of the jihadist Boko Haram insurgency. The other victims come from neighbouring districts. Nigeria’s government and NGOs are now working to improve sanitation, including better water purification and installing extra latrines, in a bid to prevent new cases, the statement said.

The city of Maiduguri has doubled in size since the start of the conflict with Boko Haram some eight years ago, rising to some two million inhabitants due to influxes of displaced people from across Borno state. The fighting has left some 20,000 people dead and displaced some 2.6 million in the country’s northeast, with many people now living in camps where they lack sufficient food and are at risk of diseases like malaria.

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