Some 115,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees living in Tanzania will be vaccinated against cholera in a mass campaign carried out by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in June. Cholera outbreak was declared in mid-May when thousands of Burundian refugees fleeing political unrest streamed into the camp, almost doubling its size.
According to official figures, 3,086 cases and 34 deaths have been reported in Tanzania to date. The vaccination campaign, which started in the Nyarugusu refugee camp on Saturday 20 June, will continue this week. So far, 55,000 people have received the oral cholera vaccine.
In coordination with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, UNHCR and the World Health Organization, MSF is providing the vaccine to everyone in the camp aged one year and above. The situation in the Nyarugusu camp remains extremely precarious, says Rachel Marsden,Emergency Coordinator for MSF in Tanzania.
â€œAlthough the number of cholera cases is low at the moment, another influx of people from Burundi could put further strain on existing services, and the risk of another outbreak remains high, Marsden added in a statement issued in Nairobi on Tuesday. According to the UNHCR, there are currently 56, 641 Burundian refugees in Tanzania, the majority of whom are staying in Nyarugusu camp.
A further 2,000 refugees continue to cross into Tanzania and the Nyarugusu camp each week from Burundi. Around 64,000 refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo are also residing in the camp.
Published: June 23, 2015 By Star Africa
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