Death toll from Nigeria cholera rises to 21: official

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Kano - The death toll from a cholera outbreak in restive northeast Nigeria has risen to 21, with most of the victims living in a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram violence, the health ministry said Tuesday.

On Saturday, the ministry had said the cholera toll was 14 in the town of Maiduguri, with most of the victims living in a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram violence.

"As of 4 September, 21 deaths have been reported," the Borno state health ministry said Tuesday, as the toll mounts.

"The total number of suspected cholera cases is now 375 in Maiduguri," it said, up from 186 at the weekend.

Most of the suspected cases and deaths are in Muna Garage, a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Maiduguri, while other victims come from neighbouring districts, it said.

The government and NGOs are working to contain the outbreak which has spread to the town of Dikwa, 60km away, where five cases had been reported, it added.

Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram has been repeatedly attacked by the jihadists.

The city's population has doubled since the start of the eight-year Boko Haram violence, rising to some two million inhabitants due to influxes of displaced people from across the state.

The conflict has left some 20 000 people dead and displaced at least 2.6 million others since 2009, leaving many displaced people in crowded makeshift camps at risk of contagious diseases like cholera.

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