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Debre-Birhan Settlement camps hit by measles epidemic

Debre Birhan City ( source : SM )

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA –  (BORKENA) – Measles outbreak hit Settlement Camps where over 27,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been settled in, a local paper reported.

The Food Security and Disaster Prevention Office of North Shewa Administrative Zone told the Amharic Weekly Reporter that many displaced people in settlement camps of Debre Birhan Town have been attacked by measles.

Office Head, Abebaw Melese said that the measles outbreak occurred in the commonly known Woineshet and China Settlement camps where over 27, 000 displaced people are said to be settled in.

Abebaw said that health service workers are busy working to prevent the communicable disease from spreading out. Sources said that the epidemic is threatening the lives of many displaced Ethiopians.

Head of Health Department with Debre-Birhan Town and Coordinator of the displaced people, Beyene Sahilu confirmed to Reporter through telephone about the measles outbreak in the aforementioned two settlement camps. So far over 116 displaced compatriots have been affected by this communicable disease, according to these individuals

They said the measles epidemic was detected two weeks back and in a bid to prevent the out spread, vaccination is given to the IDPs in collaboration with concerned health institutions.

The severe shortage of food and poor resistance capability of the people in the settlement area may be the cause for the measles outbreak, according to the health department head.

Team leader of Early Warning and Response with Zonal Disaster Prevention and Food Security Service, Derejie Yinessu said on his part that though the government should provide support every month, the relief aid is not being given on a monthly basis. The internally displaced people have received only the support rationed for only three months. Due to this, a serious food shortage has occurred in the settlement’s camps, according to the team leader.

“Most of the displaced people have taken shelter within the community. Over 90,000 IDPs are in 17 settlement camps situated in the Zone. All of them have faced a food shortage,” Derejie said.

Over 146,000 IDPs are living outside the settlement camps, according to the news sources. Several of those who had their residential houses demolished and were forcefully displaced from Sheger Town were not accepted in the settlement camps, which were stuffed by many IDPs to the brim. It was said that additional settlement camps would be built in the area…

It is to be recalled that the National Disaster Management Commission recently confirmed to Reporter about the 12 million and plus compatriots who were exposed to severe food shortage. 

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