At least 44 people were killed by an outbreak of
cholera in north-eastern Nigeria where hundreds of thousands of
people have been displaced due to violence by Islamist terrorist
group Boko Haram, the UN said Monday.
About 2,300 people were suspected to be infected with the disease,
according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
The UN said it fears 3.7 million people could potentially become
affected by the cholera outbreak.
The first cases of cholera, an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill
within hours if left untreated, were identified in Borno state on
August 16 in camps for the internally displaced.
“The camps are congested; there is not enough water, sanitation
facilities are poor, and the health care system is weak,” said OCHA
deputy humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria Peter Lundberg.
The outbreak comes amidst a humanitarian crisis, with 8.5 million
people in need of life-saving aid in the three states of Borno,
Adamawa and Yobe states, according to the UN.
The underlying reason for the crisis is the steady threat Boko Haram
poses to communities in the north-east.
Since 2009, at least 14,000 people have died at the hands of the
Sunni fundamentalists in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. According
to the United Nations, an estimated 2.7 million people in the region
have fled their homes due to Boko Haram.
The extremists’ goal is to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic