Dr. Michael Arnegger
MSF medical doctor at the paediatric, malnutrition and neonatology ward

We are seeing a lot of malaria, we are seeing a lot of respiratory tract infections. And in the last weeks, more and more malnutrition cases. Besides that, we have the maternity and we are seeing a lot of newborns with infections, newborns with low birth weight.
It’s an endemic region, but it is likely that malaria is also exacerbated due to living conditions in the camp. After the journey to the camp, people are staying in mass shelters. It’s almost impossible to set up mosquito nets in the mass shelters.
The respiratory tract infections are also due to living conditions, especially in the mass shelters. There are many people in these shelters, sometimes they stay for weeks in there. So it’s very easy to transmit infections from one person to another. Climate is probably another reason. It’s getting cold at night, and it’s very humid because of all the rain. Children in particular are affected by this.
We are seeing cases of malnutrition. This can be due to lack of food – probably during the journey, and also before in Burundi. It can also be caused by underlying medical conditions such as chronic infections.
One patient I saw was 18 months old. She has been living in the mass shelters in this camp and in another camp for four months. When she arrived, she was really sick, and received antibiotic treatment. We finally figured out that she was sick from tuberculosis, which is probably due to staying so long in the mass shelters, and being exposed to many people with chronic diseases. (January 2016)

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