A health crisis is looming in Tanzania’s refugee camps following an increase of refugees arriving in the country, medical charity MSF has said.
Some 290,000 refugees, over three-quarters of them from Burundi, are crammed into three overstretched camps - Nyarugusu, Mtendeli and Nduta - MSF says.
Nduta camp which was set up to relieve pressures at Nyarugusu, in the western province of Kigoma, is home to 117,000 people, more than double its intended capacity.
It is expected to host 150,000 refugees by April if the daily arrivals of 600-1,000 people continue.
MSF, which offers medical services at the camp, says it has recorded a fourfold increase in the number of outpatient consultations.
It says overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions are contributing to cases of malaria, diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections, and skin problems.
MSF’s head of mission David Nash says there’s an urgent need to set up a new camp.
“With the three camps at full capacity and the flow of refugees not slowing, it is more and more urgent that a site for a fourth camp is identified and immediately established. MSF has repeatedly called for this, but we are still not seeing concrete action being taken.”
Mr Nash also says the decision by Tanzania's government to withdraw automatic refugee status to Burundians arriving in the country may affect the humanitarian assistance that can be made available to them.