On Sept. 1, severe floods wreaked havoc in Agadez, Niger following four days of heavy rains in the country’s northern Air Mountains. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams are in the city providing emergency assistance to meet the urgent needs of people affected by the flooding. “The situation in Agadez is dramatic. It looks as if the city has been hit by a large-scale earthquake and the needs are enormous,” says MSF's head of mission, Giorgio Calarco. An estimated 3,500 houses were destroyed and 28,000 people were left homeless due to the floods, reported to be the worst in recent memory. Most of those left homeless sought refuge with host families, while 10,000 people, including many pregnant women as well as children under the age of five, have found shelter in 13 schools.    After assessing the situation in the flood-affected areas of Agadez, MSF teams started providing emergency medical assistance through a mobile clinic. The travelling clinic visits displaced families sheltered in schools and refers patients to the three health centres MSF supports in the city. MSF is also planning to distribute non-food items, such as soap and hygiene kits, to 2,000 displaced families and to build latrines at some of the schools hosting people those left homeless by the floods. On Sept. 6, an MSF truck with drugs and a cholera kit – the latter to be used in case cholera cases appear – arrived in Agadez. The kit contains IV drips, antibiotics, plasticized cover sheets, soap, disinfectant and chlorine.  Outside Agadez there are reports that more than 7,000 people have also been displaced by the floods. However, access to these people is not easy because of serious insecurity in the area.  MSF has been working in Agadez since May 2009, supporting three centres providing free healthcare for mothers and children. In the coming months, MSF teams plan to carry out a measles vaccination campaign for all children between six months and five years of age. MSF is also running nutritional projects in the towns of Madaoua and Bouza.

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