Diarrhea spreads in Burmese Rohingya refugee camps

Teknaf, Bangladesh: Diarrhea and vomiting have been spreading in Burmese official  Rohingya refugee camps— Nayapa and Kutupalong— since the second week of September 2015, Kamal, a refugee from Nayapara camp said. Mostly refugee children and adults have been admitted at Nayapara and Kutupalong refugee camp clinics, under the Ministry of Health (MOH), he said.

Since the Eid al-Adha-“Festival of the Sacrifice”- on September 25, many refugees including children have been suffering from diarrhea and vomiting in the camp because of high temperature and contaminated drinking water, according to refugees.

A doctor of Nayapara camp clinic who denied to be named said, some refugees have been suffering from vomiting, fever and diarrhea and the patients are taking treatment in the clinic.

The facilities from the camps clinic is not enough for refugee, have to take alternative treatment from outside of the camps’ dispensaries or local doctors for their safety survival, Hakim, a refugee unrecognized or without certificate doctor said.

Scientists at the country’s leading research institute International Centre for Diarrhea Disease and Research (ICDDR,B) attributed the unusual rise of diarrhea attacks to the rise in temperature that favours growth of micro-organisms.

“Scarcity of water while has an impact on personal hygiene, ingestion of larger quantities of water that which be contaminated with germs, and quick decaying of prepared food are among other factors behind the rise on diarrheal attacks.”

According to a report of Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF), an NGO worked in  Burmese Rohingya refugee camp in 2002, “Diarrhea and skin diseases regularly battle for a close second to Respiratory Tract Infection (RTI), most commonly as a result of unhygienic surroundings and habits, and untreated water”.

Skin diseases, such as scabies, and diarrhea have been in MSF’s top five causes of overall morbidity since 1992.  But neither the high incidence of water-related diseases, nor the claims of the refugees themselves convinced the responsible actors that the refugees were suffering from a lack of water, report mentioned.

More than 30,000 registered Rohingya refugees have been living in Nayapara and Kutupalong camps and they have been supervised by UNHCR and Bangladesh government.

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