NPR: Tens Of Thousands Displaced by Boko Haram in Nigeria

There are an estimated 15,000 people in Bama camp – most of these people are women and children under the age of five. People are living inside a camp surrounded by the Nigerian army. Boko Haram fighters are stationed a few killometres away from Bama camp, the town is empty, and it is like a ghost town. The only people who remain in Bama are inside the camp. We returned to Bama on August 17th to carry out our emergency response. We reached a total number of 3,293 children under the age of five. We treated 513 malnourished children (4.2% have severe malnutrition and 10.9% have moderate malnutrition). Our operational aim was to reduce morbidity and mortality among children under the age of five by providing treatment and food for one month. We took Non Food Items (mosquito nets, soap), therapeutic food for malnourished children (plumpy nut) and a food blanket ration targeting malnourished children’s household (oil, emergency food, rations and beans). We started our distribution at 7am and there were people as far we could see. There were lines and lines of women and children. We screened the children for malnutrition as we distributed the items. Our operation strategy is to return to Bama every month for the next two months. There is an Outpatient clinic run by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF but very few patients go to the clinic because there are not enough medicines there. In addition the Nigerian Air Force opened few days ago an hospital in front of the camp’s entrance. Most people in the camp live in make shift corrugated iron shelters – with sheets of metal not offering much protection against the rain or elements. Now some people have plastic sheeting on their shelters and tents but there are no windows so it’s very hot inside these shelters and they’re not sustainable. There is also an issue around water. There isn’t enough water for the number of people in the camp. here is nine bore holes in the camp and only seven are functioning, this is not covering the needs of the 15,000 people in the camp.
Hakim Khaldi/MSF
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