Emergency and humanitarian action

Diptheria outbreak in Cox's Bazar

The emergency

Funds allocated:
US$175 000 Affected population:

With the recent diphtheria outbreak affecting the Rohingyas in Cox Bazar, one of the main impediments faced in responding urgently is the lack of minimum laboratory services in the locality.

For confirmation of cases, specimens had to be brought to Dhaka because of the lack of facilities in the field. This led to the delay in confirmation of cases and had serious consequences in determining the epidemiology of the outbreak and implementing a rapid and effective response. Recently, WHO EWARS has also reported an increase in measles, mumps, AWD and even Acute Jaundice Syndrome. For these and other diseases, it would be necessary to have a basic laboratory that could do the testing that could provide immediate results. The laboratory would provide support to active surveillance, lead to immediate public health measures and even ensure appropriate and immediate medical management to affected patients and the SEARHEF support helped in the immediate procurement of lab supplies.

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