7 Burundi refugees die of ‘severe diarrhea’ in Tanzania

 World Bulletin / News Desk

Seven Burundian refugees who recently arrived in Tanzania have died since Wednesday due to an outbreak of severe diarrhea, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Monday.

The UN refugee agency announced on Monday that it was “taking urgent measures to contain the spread of a severe watery diarrhea outbreak among newly arrived Burundian refugees in Tanzania”.

UNHCR Representative in Tanzania Joyce Mends-Cole said in a statement: “The UNHCR’s priority is to work with the Ministry of Health and international partners to prepare for the worst and quickly establish a cholera treatment center in [the northeastern Tanzanian village of] Kagunga.”

The UN refugee agency also said it was “flying in urgently needed medication to supplement what can be found locally,” adding that “two specimens have preliminary been diagnosed as cholera, but we are awaiting official confirmation from a reference laboratory”.

“Another 77 Burundians in Nyarugusu – in the western province of Kigoma – are being treated for severe watery diarrhea. Some 300 people are being treated for watery diarrhea at Kagunga near the Tanzanian border and at the Stadium in Kigoma,” the UNHCR added.

It went on to note that some 20,000 Burundian refugees had arrived to the Nyarugusu refugee camp, adding that it was “taking urgent preventative measures to improve sanitation, hygiene and early detection, as well as a hygiene promotion information campaign”.

Burundi has been rocked by protests since late April, when the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy named Nkurunziza – in power since 2005 – its candidate for June presidential polls.

Dozens have been killed in clashes since a wave of protests broke out after Nkurunziza announced plans to seek a third term in office.

The country’s opposition says Nkurunziza does not have the right to seek a third term, citing Burundi’s constitution, which limits the number of terms a president can serve to two.

However, Burundi’s Constitutional Court has since ruled that Nkurunziza’s third-term bid would not violate the constitution.

The court ruled that, since he was elected in 2005 by parliament and not by the people, Nkurunziza’s first stint in office should not be counted as a presidential term per se.

Source Article from http://www.worldbulletin.net/haberler/159352/7-burundi-refugees-die-of-severe-diarrhea-in-tanzania

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