Humanitarian Workers Battle Measles Outbreak at Dadaab Camps
Humanitarian Workers Battle Measles Outbreak at Dadaab Camps

Hundreds of Somali refugees, tired, sick, and some near death, continue to pour into Dadaab, Kenya where the world?s largest refugee complex is located.

The daily influx of refugees has persisted over the last four months leading to overcrowded conditions and the spread of diseases.

New refugees are registered at the intake center at Ifo camp 1, where they initially receive food and medical assistance.

Many of the children and some adults are arriving at the camp with measles.

Humanitarian agencies are giving vaccinations at the registration center but an outbreak of measles has spread throughout all of the camps at Dadaab.

Once the shots are given, mothers then participate in information sessions where they are provided with information on how to follow up to ensure the children will make a recovery.

This part is challenging for aid agencies because families are not use to receiving medical care so they do not understand the importance of it.

While most of the refugees coming into the camps are women and children, aid agencies are starting to see more men arriving.  The men are saying the drought, which has affected over 12 million people in the horn of Africa, has killed off their cattle resulting in them losing their livelihoods.

The same situation is also seen in southern Ethiopia.

VOA reporter Henok Fente is on assignment in the Horn of Africa and visited Dadaab, Kenya.  To hear his interview with Kim Lewis, click on the link below.