UN refugee agency working to contain cholera epidemic in Niger

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Malian refugees at the Mangaizé refugee camp in northern Niger. [UNHCR/ H.Caux]

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and its partners are working in Niger to contain a cholera epidemic in the west of the country.

The agency says the epidemic, which was declared by the government of Niger on 11 May has left seven people dead.

UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva, Melissa Fleming, says two of the people who have died are refugees.

"One was a 45-year-old man and another was a 3-year-old boy. There are in the camp where those two died – these are Malian refugees – there are 15,000 people in the camp. There are 50,000 refugees but just in this camp in that region there are 15,000 and our information is that the contamination came from the community, so UNHCR and partners are taking measures not only inside the refugee camp but also in the community." (29")

Ms. Flemming says her agency believes that the affected people contracted cholera by consuming contaminated water from the nearby river.

According to UNHCR, to date, 248 cases have been registered in the region with 31 cases among refugees in two camps.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'05"

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