Bangladesh has received nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees since 25 August 2017
Bangladesh’s Emergency Coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Kate Nolan said hundreds of Rohingyas are still feeling Myanmar and entering Bangladesh every week.
“The numbers of people arriving now are not massive, like it was at the beginning of the crisis, but we still see a few hundred reaching the country every week after crossing the Naf River,” she said.
Nolan said: “The newly arrived refugees say that they feel unsafe, threatened and harassed at home, in villages that are often abandoned; they try to sell their goods in any way they can in order to board a boat to reach a country that has made and continues to make a huge effort to accommodate them.”
Earlier on Monday, Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) reportedly torched houses of the Rohingyas in a village near the no man’s land at Tambru border point, adjacent to Bangladesh’s Konarpara border area.
Bangladesh has received nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees since 25 August 2017. They join tens of thousands who were already in the country from previous periods of tension and violence in neighbouring Rakhine state, the MSF delegate said.
The coordinator for MSF, doctors without borders, said: “The thing I find most striking about this situation is its magnitude – the sheer number of people who have crossed the border in a short spate of time, barely six months.
“As we see through our medical consultations in all the settlements, the Rohingyas were already marginalized and excluded in Myanmar. They had very little or no access to healthcare and were not routinely vaccinated against communicable diseases, so their immunization status is very low.”
Since last August 25, the MSF has scaled up its operations, and now manages 15 health posts, three primary health centres and five inpatient facilities. The main morbidities among patients in our clinics are respiratory tract infections, diarrhoeal diseases, which are directly related to the poor shelter and water and sanitation conditions in the settlements.
Over 200,000 patients have been treated at MSF outpatient facilities and 4,938 patients in inpatient facilities between the end of August and the end of December.
Nolan said: “Our medics treat many people with diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections – diseases related to the living conditions in the camps.
“We also see wounds that have developed into serious infections after not being properly treated, chronic diseases that have never been properly addressed.”
“After the rush of the last few months here, our priority now is to consolidate our medical activities, focus on secondary healthcare services and our emergency response to outbreaks, to be ready to respond if the crisis becomes protracted and forgotten,” the MSF high official added.