Doctors Without Borders discovers thousands of graves in Borno IDPs camp

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An international medical humanitarian organisation, Mé- decins Sans Frontières (MSF) also known as Doctors without Borders has discovered thousands of graves at the Internally Displaced Camp (IDP) in Bama, Borno State. The discovery, MSF said in a release, came to light after it visited the area.

The agency said on their inspection, they found about 1,233 graves, 480 of which contain children, located near the IDP camp. The MSF Head of Mission in Nigeria, Ghada Hatim, said: “For several hours on June 21, an MSF medical team was able to access the town of Bama in north-eastern Nigeria, where 24,000 people, including 15,000 children (among them, 4,500 under five years of age) are sheltered in a camp located on a hospital compound. During those few hours, the MSF medical team discovered a health crisis — referring 16 severely malnourished children at immediate risk of death to the MSF inpatient therapeutic feeding centre in Maiduguri. A rapid nutritional screening of more than 800 children found that 19% were suffering from severe acute malnutrition — the deadliest form of malnutrition.

“This is the first time MSF has been able to access Bama, but we already know the needs of the people there are beyond critical. Bama is largely closed off. “We have been told that people there, including children, have starved to death. “According to the accounts given to MSF by displaced people in Bama, new graves are appearing on a daily basis. We were told that on certain days, more than 30 people were dying due to hunger and illness.”

“According to the MSF, since May this year, at least 188 people had died in the camp and almost six people pass away daily mainly because of diarrhoea and malnutrition. “In June the MSF jointly with Nigerian authorities evacuated 1,192 people in need of medical treatment from the Bama area to Maiduguri.

“This group of mostly women and children was placed in the Camp Nursing internally displaced camp. “Of the 466 children screened by MSF medical teams at Camp Nursing, 66% were emaciated and 39% of these children had a severe form of malnutrition. Upon assessment, 78 children had to be immediately hospitalised at the MSF feeding centre which has an inpatient capacity of 86 beds,” the statement said.

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