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MSF Reports Health Catastrophe in Nigerian Camp

FILE - Internally displaced persons wait to be served with food at Dikwa camp, in northeast Nigeria's Borno state, Feb. 2, 2016.

A camp for internally displaced people in Nigeria is facing a catastrophic humanitarian emergency, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF) said Wednesday.

An MSF medical team that entered the camp in the town of Bama, in Borno state, for the first time Tuesday discovered 16 severely malnourished children at immediate risk of death and referred them to a therapeutic feeding center.

MSF said a rapid nutritional screening found 19 percent of more than 800 children in the camp were suffering from the deadliest form of malnutrition.

During its assessment, the MSF team counted 1,233 cemetery graves, 480 for children, that had been dug in the past year near the camp.

At least 188 people have died in the camp, mainly from diarrhea and malnutrition, since May 23.

The camp shelters 24,000 people, including 15,000 children — among them 4,500 under age 5 — at a hospital compound, MSF said.