Women, children the worst sufferers

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Publication date:12 September, 2017

Women, children the worst sufferers


Media: The Independent

Original URLWomen, children the worst sufferers

E-paper  URL: Women, children the worst sufferers

Almost 80 per cent of the Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh since the outbreak of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are women and children.

Over 350,000 people have entered Bangladesh since August 24. There are around 65-70  per cent children among them, said United Nations aid agency sources.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) sources said that a vast majority of these refugees were women, including mothers with newborns, and families with children. The Rohingyas have arrived in poor physical conditions due to prolonged starvation and exhaustion, they added.

Even though the elders were trying to cope with the situation, the youngsters are the worst sufferers.

The UNHCR said that many children of survivors have now been suffering from mental and physical trauma due to the atrocities committed to their near and dear ones by the Myanmar government in Rakhine state.

Moreover, the children could not continue their education in their native land as they had to fled for their lives. There is some scope of access to formal education at Rohingya refugee camps, but the majority of new arrivals have found no place in such camps because of the capacity constraint.

The children who have fled with their families are not being immunised either, as there are no immediate facilities to extend such coverage.

Lack of safe water and sanitation pose health hazards

There are no sanitation facilities at any of the makeshift camps, posing a serious health hazard to the refugees. There is also an acute crisis of safe drinking water. The newly arrived Rohingyas are mostly suffering from different diseases like diarrhoea and fever because of unsafe water and getting drenched in rain while making their way to Bangladesh. They are also suffering from mental trauma, having witnessed the killing of relatives and their homes being set on fire.

In the meantime, over 20 children have died of diarrhoea and cold at different makeshift camps, said sources.

Ahmed Hossain, 30, brought his two-year-old son, who is suffering from loose motion for the past two days. “My son went to the toilet at least 20 times in the last two days. We reached here through the Lambabeel border point on Sunday morning after spending three days on the way.”

Several hundred Rohingya patients were seen segregated for treatment at a medical camp on Sunday.

This correspondent talked with the members of a medical team at Whykong in Teknaf. The team said they treated about 400 newly arrived refugees, 95 per cent of whom were women and children. Most of the women were said to be suffering from mental and physical trauma, while the children were suffering from cold, fever, diarrhoea and mental and physical trauma as well.

Dr Hasan Al Zaman, head of the medical team comprising doctors from various government hospitals, told The Independent: “Most of these refugess is are suffering from rashes, cold and cough, fever, dyspnoea and diarrhoea. They are also suffering from skin infections.”

“We’re providing them primary treatment and medicines. We are referring them to the Cox’s Bazar Medical College and Chittagong Medical College Hospital, if they need further treatment or in case of emergency,” he added.

Conditions in the makeshift camps are quite appalling as there are no latrines and arrangements for safe drinking water. So, diarrhoea and cold epidemics seem to be looming large. However, different UN Aid agencies were seen giving medical care to the newly arrived Rohingyas.

“In the camp, a large number of patients are affected by diarrhoea, cold and fever. Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) teams are giving treatment to at least 500 patients at the Raikhong makeshift camp. Children are mostly being affected by diarrhoea,” said Dr Md Alam, head of the medical team of BGB-2. About 60,000 Rohingyas have taken shelter at the Raikhong makeshift camp in Teknaf.

Joseph Tripura, spokesperson of the UNHCR in Bangladesh, told The Independent: “The Rohingya refugess are mostly women and children. Our work is on and will continue. We’re referring to our partner agencies in case of diseases.”

Biometric registration of Rohingyas begins

Biometric registration for Rohingyas began yesterday (Monday) from the Balukhali camp of Ukhiya in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar district.

Colonel Shafiul Azam, head of the registration cell, said: “The registration has begun. It’ll continue till all the Rohingyas are registered. Fingerprints of all the Rohingyas will be collected under the project.”

Photographs of the refugess and the names of their parents and addresses will also be recorded in these systems.

The government is also building a Rohingya refugee camp at Balukhali on 2,000 acres of land to bring them in one place to prevent them from spreading out to other areas.

Decomposed body of Rohingya woman recovered

Police yesterday recovered the decomposed body of a Rohingya woman. The age of the woman was between 19 and 20, according to police sources.

“We recovered the decomposed body on the Bharchara beach after being informed by locals,” said Kanchan Kanti Paul, an inspector of the Baharchara police outpost of Teknaf.

With the recovery of the body, a total of 94 bodies have been recovered since August 25.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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