Nigeria: 12 Die, 11 Children Delivered in Rivers Camps for Flood Victims

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About a month after flood sacked many communities in Nigeria, the effect is still being felt at a time displaced people are beginning to adjust to life in the relief camps.

Living in the camps is a mixed bag of sorrow and joy for the internally displaced people. While some are dying, due to the poor sanitary condition of the environment that has aggravated their frailty, others are multiplying. In Ubie clan of Ahoada-East Local Government Area of Rivers State, 12 persons have died.

But even as deaths are being recorded, so are births, as 11 children have so far been delivered in the camps established for persons displaced by the floods. The births are being recorded in camps at Abua Central, Abua/Odual Local Government of the state.

The state government had set up about 12 camps to accommodate the victims of the flood disaster in communities of Abua/Odual and Ahoada-East, which appears to be one of the worst-hit local government areas in the flash flood that ravaged parts of the country.

THISDAY gathered that most of the victims who died were those who took ill, essentially because of the poor sanitary condition in the over-crowded camps. Medical attention was said to have been poor, which helped to increase the number of casualties.

Narrating the ordeal of those in the relief camps, Chairman, Rivers State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Ibitrokoemi Faye-Kurubo, complained about the situation in the camps. He gave details of the challenges while briefing journalists at the opening of the 2012 Physicians’ Week in Port Harcourt Tuesday.

Faye-Kurubo called for the deployment of more medical facilities in the camps to ensure better welfare for the displaced. From the situation in the camps so far, unless urgent and adequate medical attention is paid to the condition of the people, it is possible that more deaths could be recorded.

“Drugs and other medical aids should be deployed to the relevant agencies in the camps considering the challenges being faced by victims of the flood disaster and to avert possible outbreak of epidemic and other water-related diseases in the camps.

“During our (NMA) visit to the camps in Abua, we discovered that 11 children have been delivered by pregnant women,” Faye-Kurubo said, noting that it was not the best environment for delivery.

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