Bangladesh: Immediate action needed to avert massive public health disaster
Kutupalong, Bangladesh – A massive scale-up of humanitarian aid in Bangladesh is needed to avoid a huge public health disaster following the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.
The most recent influx of Rohingya refugees has added to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled across the border during episodes of violence in previous years.
Most of the newly arrived refugees have moved into makeshift settlements without adequate access to shelter, food, clean water, or latrines.
“There are no roads in or out of the settlement, making aid delivery very difficult.
At MSF’s medical facility in Kutupalong, 487 patients were treated for diarrhoeal diseases between 6 and 17 September.
Comprehensive vaccination campaigns for measles and cholera need to be launched immediately to reduce the outbreak risk and protect the Rohingya and Bangladeshi populations.
“Hundreds of thousands of refugees are living in an extremely precarious situation, and all the preconditions for a public health disaster are there,” adds Onus.
Close to the Kutupalong makeshift settlement in Cox’s Bazar district, MSF runs a medical facility and a clinic offering comprehensive basic and emergency healthcare, as well as inpatient and laboratory services to Rohingya refugees and the local community.