• Wednesday, May 19, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:11 am

Coronavirus: Imams, volunteers conduct awareness campaigns in Rohingya camps

  • Published at 06:44 pm April 16th, 2020
Rohingya Camp
File photo of a Rohingya camp Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

To contain the spread of the coronavirus in the cramped Rohingya camps, the local administration has already imposed a lockdown in Cox’s Bazar district

Rohingya community volunteers and Imams are disseminating awareness messages on coronavirus in their camps in Cox’s Bazar, so that they may better protect themselves from the coronavirus epidemic.

“Since the coronavirus crisis started, a training of trainers for 130 community health work supervisors was conducted, and these trainers are in turn training more than 1,500 refugee community volunteers to work in the camps to ensure that the key messages are shared regularly with the Rohingya population,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Louise Donovan said, reports BSS.

She said more than 400 protection community outreach workers are also helping to disseminate message in the camps.

The UNHCR spokesperson said communications are ongoing in the camps and host communities through radio spots, video, posters, and messages, in Rohingya, Burmese, and Bengali languages.

Imams, community leaders and volunteers are disseminating messages in the camps, explaining how the coronavirus spreads, how people can protect themselves and their families from its infection, and how they can understand symptoms of the disease and seek healthcare, she added.

At community level, the government has also rolled out messaging through multiple channels, including mobile phone networks and loudspeakers.

There are currently no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the camps, but one case was confirmed in Cox’s Bazar town on March 24.

Coronavirus is a huge concern to most people around the globe and the Rohingyas are no exception. Rohingyas are highly vulnerable to Covid-19 as they live in highly overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar.

This is why the government and aid agencies are taking measures to ensure their access to accurate information and health advice on how to protect themselves and what to do if they fall sick.

Donovan said communication is a key to the timely and effective management of this situation and so, mobile data communication restrictions in the Rohingya camps should be lifted.

“Life-saving health interventions require rapid and effective communication. Humanitarian partners continue to advocate for reestablishment of internet connectivity within the camps, to ensure that all refugees have adequate access to information, and to enable communication between partners,” she added.

To contain the transmission of the coronavirus in the cramped Rohingya camps, the local administration has already imposed a lockdown in Cox’s Bazar district, considering public interest. The lockdown came into effect on April 8.

In a recent Facebook post, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Cox’s Bazar district Kamal Hossain said 34 Rohingya camps were brought under the lockdown, prohibiting mass gatherings, rallies, and entrance of foreigners in the cramped camps to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Fleeing persecution in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, over one million Rohingyas have been living in the overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Coronavirus has so far infected 1,572 people and killed 60 people in Bangladesh.

Globally, the disease has infected 2,099,648 people and killed 136,032 people.

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