The Borno State Government has confirmed that 450 people died from ailments and malnutrition across the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps in the state.
The State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia who made the disclosure at Press briefing to correct a media report that previously claimed that 450 children died as a result of malnutrition in 2015.
DR. Mshelia said that: “Contrary to media report, statistics shows that, a total of 54,000 children under the ages of 5 and below were recorded in all the resettlement camps, in which, 98 children (1.5%) had severe cases of malnutrition and died last year. The figure of the dead toll was misquoted as 450 instead of 98.”
The Health Commissioner however disclosed that the 450 deaths were recorded across the IDPs camps including adult and children as a result of commonest ailments and other causes, such as, malaria, Diarrhea, Pneumonia, Measles and of course malnutrition.
Dr. Mshelia pointed out that all children under five years living at IDP camps were screened every 2-3 months for evidence of malnutrition, meaning a child can be screened up to 4 times in a year.
He disclosed that in 2015, over 200,000 children were screened, out of which, 6,444 were found to be severely malnourished and therefore treated through Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) programmes of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), and as well supported by Nutrition Programme Support Partners like UNICEF, Save the Children (SC), Action Against Hunger (AAH) among others.
He however noted that the National Demographic and Health Survey Data (NDHS- 2013) reveals that even the North East that had suffered much due to insurgency, has an under-five mortality rate of 160 deaths per 1,000, second only to the North West with 185 deaths per 1,000 population.
He then commended all the Health Care Partners, especially Medicine SAN Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) French Section for not only proving care for malnourished children in the state, but also renovated and equipped most structures and facilities at Umaru Shehu General Hospital in Bulumkutu, State Specialists Hospital, General Mamman Shuwa Memorial Hospital (Nursing Home), all in Maiduguri Metropolis.