The United Nations Children’s Fund on Friday raised the alarm that cases of skin diseases, water-borne diseases and respiratory infections were on the increase on account of the raging floods in many parts of the country.
It also noted that more than 2.5 million persons, 60 per cent of which are children, were in need of humanitarian assistance, as it warned that children were also at the risk of malnutrition.
These were contained in a statement by Communications and Advocacy Specialist at UNICEF, Geoffrey Njoku. He lamented that the floods had affected 34 out of the 36 states in the country, and over 1.3 million persons had been displaced.
The statement quoted UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Christian Munduate, as saying, “Over 600 people have lost their lives and over 200,000 houses have either been partially or fully damaged. Cases of diarrhoea and water-borne diseases, respiratory infection, and skin diseases have already been on the rise.
“In the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe alone, a total of 7,485 cases of cholera and 319 associated deaths were reported as of 12 October. As rains are expected to continue for several weeks, humanitarian needs are also expected to rise.
“Children and adolescents in flood-affected areas are in an extremely vulnerable situation. They are particularly at risk of water-borne diseases and emotional and psychological distress.”
The UN body said it was working closely with the government and other partners to provide life-saving assistance to those mostly in need, adding that the floods were adding another layer of complexity to an already precarious humanitarian situation in the country.