Bangladesh - Rohingya Crisis
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 24 August 2018: In the past year concerted efforts by the Bangladesh Government, WHO and health partners have helped save thousands of lives, and prevented and rapidly curtailed deadly disease outbreaks among the nearly one million Rohingya refugees, who despite these efforts remain vulnerable even today with their evolving health needs, and severe funding crunch threatening continuity of life saving health services in their camps.
Cox’s Bazar, 21 June 2018: To strengthen health services for Rohingya refugees and their host communities in Cox’s Bazar, additional health workforce has been added to the district hospital here, the only facility providing referral services to nearly 1.3 million vulnerable population at increased risk of diseases in the ongoing rainy season.
Cox’s Bazar, 1 June 2018: With rains starting to intermittently flood the Rohingya refugee camps, the World Health Organization and other health sector partners are further strengthening preventive and contingency measures to minimize the health impact of monsoons for the nearly 1.3 million vulnerable populations in Cox’s Bazar.
WHO and health sector partners are working with Bangladesh government to maintain life-saving primary and secondary health services for Rohingya refugees and their host communities in the ongoing rainy season.
Cox’s Bazar, 6 May 2018: A massive cholera vaccination campaign began today to protect nearly one million Rohingyas and their host communities living in and around the refugee camps in Bangladesh, to prevent any potential outbreak during the ongoing monsoon season.
This is a second cholera vaccination campaign being held for the Rohingyas and their host communities. Earlier 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine were administered to the vulnerable population in two phases in October – November last year.
Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre's Supervisor General and Advisor at the Royal Court visited the Sadar District Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on 12 April.
KSRelief has given US$ 2 million to WHO to double the hospital’s bed capacity from 250 to 500, improve trauma and emergency obstetric care services, and out-patient care. The funds are being used to expand, improve and strengthen services at the Sadar Hospital, the hub for providing lifesaving services to nearly 1.3 million newly arrived Rohingyas and their host communities.
20 February 2018 - Six months after the start of the Rohingya refugee crisis, continued efforts are needed to further scale up health services for nearly 1.3 million people in Cox’s Bazar.
The vulnerable populations remain at risk of several diseases and in need of critical services for survival.
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre has announced a US$2 million grant to WHO for upgrading the Sadar District Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to enhance health care services for Rohingyas and their host communities.
At present, all patients with more serious conditions are referred to and treated at Sadar District Hospital. The funds will be used to double the number of in-patient beds from 250 to 500, and to improve trauma and emergency obstetric care services.
28 January 2018 - Stepping up efforts to curtail the ongoing diphtheria outbreak in Cox’s Bazar, WHO and UNICEF are working with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to vaccinate over 350,000 children in the Rohingya camps and makeshift settlements with an additional dose of diphtheria vaccine.
2 January 2018 - School children, living in areas close to the Rohingya camps in Ukhia and Tekhna sub-districts are being administered a dose of DT vaccine, as part of the diphtheria outbreak response.
The school vaccination initiative was planned on 1st January as children report to schools in large numbers to receive free books given by government at the start of the academic year. Missed children, if any, would be vaccinated on 3 January.
19 December 2017 - WHO has released US$1.5 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to scale up health operations in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh over the next six months, to respond to the rapidly spreading diphtheria outbreak among Rohingya population.
The funds will be used to support immunization activities, improve laboratory capacity, support community engagement, contact tracing and case management in health facilities, as well as to provide essential medicines and supplies.
12 December 2017 - The Government of Bangladesh, with the support of UNICEF, the World Health Organization and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, today launched a vaccination campaign against diphtheria and other preventable diseases for all Rohingya children aged 6 weeks to 6 years living in 12 camps and temporary settlements near the Myanmar border.
Accelerated immunization will cover nearly 255 000 children in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts in Cox’s Bazar, while the Government and health partners continue to increase support for diphtheria treatment and prevention.
4 November 2017 – The second phase of the oral cholera vaccination drive began today to provide an additional dose of the vaccine to children of newly arrived Rohingya population against the deadly diarrheal disease. The children are also being administered oral polio vaccine.
Nearly 180,000 children aged between one and five years are expected to receive the second dose of oral cholera vaccine (OCV), while around 210,000 children up to the age of five years will be vaccinated against polio in a six-day immunization campaign in Ukhia and Teknaf sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar and Naikhanchari in Bandarban district.
Responding to health needs of vulnerable population
Since 25 August more than half a million people have arrived in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area from Myanmar. Most of them have gathered in makeshift or spontaneous settlements. Poor nutrition, communicable diseases (including vaccine-preventable and water-borne diseases), injuries and other concerns such as mental health provide immense public health challenges that the Ministry of Health, Bangladesh, WHO and other health partners are working to address.
WHO is working closely with IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF and other health partners in ensuring adequate health services are provided to the vulnerable population.
- EU grant to improve health services for more than one million vulnerable people
- Major outbreaks averted, thousands of lives saved; but Rohingyas continue to be vulnerable: WHO
- Additional workforce added to Cox’s Bazar hospital to strengthen Rohingya refugee response
- Preventive, contingency measures reinforced as monsoon sets in Cox’s Bazar
- One million Rohingya refugees, host communities being vaccinated against cholera
- KS Relief Supervisor General Visits Joint WHO and Government Project to Increase Health Care for the Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar
- Rohingya crisis: KS Relief gives US$2 million to strengthen Sadar District Hospital in Cox’s Bazar
- Urgent need to scale up health services in Cox’s Bazar: WHO
- Over 350,000 children to get additional dose of diphtheria vaccine in Cox’s Bazar
- Nearly half a million children being vaccinated against diphtheria in Cox’s Bazar
Features & Photo Stories
- Rohingya camps gear up for cyclone season
- The disease detectives: how epidemiologists investigate the source of infections
- Water filters – helping guard pregnant women from disease
- Raising awareness about mosquito borne diseases
- Improving drinking water quality in Rohingya camps
- Health Information Management – for lifesaving actions
- Using technology to tame an outbreak
- Keeping a close watch to prevent malaria outbreak in Cox’s Bazar
- Addressing small bites to avoid big risks
- Rohingya woman ensures all vaccines for her family
- Health surveillance in Cox’s Bazar: WHO’s diseases detectives
- Immunization field monitors - WHO’s eyes and ears in the Rohingya camps
- WHO prepositioning medical equipment and supplies in Rohingya camps as preparation for rainy season
- Voices from our partners
- Portraits of heroes on the ground
- Assessing health facilities in Rohingya camps
- Two-year old Mohamed survives diphtheria thanks to 24/7 treatment
- WHO and partners support diphtheria treatment centres in Cox’s Bazar
Timeline of the response
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