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Updated On: Sunday, 22 September 2019

WHO at Rohingya Camp

Content by: South-South News

3 January 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — Visiting Rohingya a refugee camp in Bangladesh one year since the Rohingya plight had started, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Deputy Director-General Peter Salama said, “This is one of the most fragile situations I have ever seen.”

In the year since the massive influx of Rohingya refugees to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, concerted efforts by the Bangladeshgovernment, WHO and health partners have helped save thousands of lives and prevented and rapidly curtailed deadly disease outbreaks. Despite these efforts, the population remains vulnerable as a severe funding crunch threatens the continuity of health services in their camps.

Visiting Balukhali-Kutupalong Camp in Cox's Bazar, Salama called for “sustainable ways of meeting the needs for health, for water, for sanitation, for education, and for livelihoods of this very vulnerable population.”

He said, “We have done things that collectively we can be very proud of. The fact that we were able to conduct an oral cholera vaccination campaign immediately after the crossing of those Rohingya refugees and almost a million people vaccinated in two separate rounds, so basically the entire population that moved. In my view it’s been incredibly important in preventing what was almost inevitable - a huge outbreak of cholera that would have resulted in an untold death and suffering for the Rohingya population. We’ve managed to control diphtheria and measles outbreaks. We’ve managed to provide basic essential health services for the population.”

Deputy Director-General also said “It is really important that the Rohingya people do not suffer now in silence because we have gone beyond the acute phase and we are almost a year into this crisis.”

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