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Measles hits Benue IDP camps

Several people have reportedly contracted measles at various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Benue State. Our correspondent gathered that at least 60 people, mostly…

Several people have reportedly contracted measles at various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Benue State.

Our correspondent gathered that at least 60 people, mostly children above the age of five, had so far been infected in some of the camps located in Guma Local Government Area of the state.

 It was learnt that over 30 people infected were recorded in the Ortese IDPs camp in Guma while the remaining cut across the other IDPs camps in the state.

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The State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea, had yet to respond to out correspondent’s calls and SMS at the time of this report.

However, the Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Emmanuel Shior, told journalists in Makurdi that “the government, through the Ministry of Health, is on top of the situation.”

Mitch Rhyner, a Benue Project Coordinator, Medicins Sans Frontieres – Doctors Without Borders (MSF) – admitted the outbreak of the disease in some of the camps where his organisation is working in the state.

MSF, however, expressed disappointment with the little humanitarian responses at the various IDP camps in Benue State.

Rhyner lamented the deplorable living conditions of the IDPs at the weekend during a photo exhibition/ interaction with journalists in Makurdi to mark the organisation’s 50 years of providing medical humanitarian aid to people in need across the country.

He expressed concern that SEMA had not been adequately funded to meet the challenges.

 He stressed the need for the United Nations humanitarian arms as well as other donors to bring succour to the displaced people languishing in the Benue IDP camps.

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