Deadly outbreak of diarrhoea kills three Rohingya infants, affects 5,000 in refugee ‘Island Jail’
By Mohammed Rafique, The Rohingya Post
Three Rohingya infants aged between one and two died of the deadly diarrhoeal outbreak in Bhasan Char within the first two weeks of June.
Umme Habiba, three-month-old, is the youngest victim of the outbreak. Zainab aged one and Jisan aged two were identified as the other two victims.
It further affected at least 5,000 or 25% of Rohingya refugees in the remote island located in the Bay of Bengal.
The diarrhoea rampages through the camp due to the lack of hygiene and health awareness coupled with the start of monsoon season.
The control of the outbreak is also being hampered by the failure to build specialised beds or wards for outbreaks like diarrhoea in Bhasan Char.
Bhasan Char Hospital is the only operating hospital with just 20 beds and limited medicines and resources for the entire population on the island.
“Currently, diarrhoea patients only are being admitted at the hospital not allowing other patients. Everyday, 40 to 50 patients are being admitted here. Many of them are being treated at corridor and hospital floor due to the lack of beds,” said Dr. Tanvir Anwar, a medical officer at the hospital.
“There are little crisis of medicine as the disease is increasing rapidly,” he continued.
It is being reported that saline and medicine required to treat Rohingya patients with diarrhoea could not be sent due to bad weather.
More than 20,000 Rohingya from several refugee camps from Cox’s Bazar have been moved to the island since December 2020 despite concerns and calls from Rohingya refugees and international human rights organisation for its lack of adequate storm and flood protection, insufficient food, medicine and drinkable water, and the restricted freedom of movement on the island what many called “an island jail in the middle of the sea”.