Rohingya woman ensures all vaccines for her family

“I want my children to remain healthy. Since our arrival in Bangladesh, we have not missed a single vaccination opportunity,” says 25-year-old Rajuma Chotun who arrived in Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar in September 2017 with her four children and aging mother.

WHO Bangladesh/ C. Hessou

Since the start of the Rohingya influx, the Ministry of Health and family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh, along with WHO, UNICEF and other health sector partners, have provided over 3 900 000 doses of vaccines to the refugees, their host communities and people living in adjoining areas to protect / strengthen their protection against diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, measles and rubella, polio, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis B etc.

Rajuma and her family was among the 900 000 people vaccinated against cholera earlier this month, as part of preventive measures being taken by WHO and health authorities ahead of the monsoons when the already sub-optimal water and sanitation condition is expected to worsen, increasing the risk of water and vector borne diseases. The oral cholera vaccines were made available through the International Coordinating Group with members from WHO, UNICEF, Médecins sans Frontières and the International Federation of the Red Cross. The vaccines and supplies were financed by GAVI, the vaccine alliance.

WHO Bangladesh/ C. Hessou

In addition to the vaccination campaigns - including two each for cholera and measles, and three for diphtheria - the health sector has also established routine immunization across the camps through fixed sites. All vaccines available under Bangladesh’s childhood immunization programme are being offered to children in the Rohingya camps through the fixed immunization sites.

WHO Bangladesh/ C. Hessou

“I have four children and my mother to care for. I cannot afford them falling sick. ” Rajuma, a widow, says adding, “I not only get my family vaccinated, but also encourage my friends to do the same.”