Rohingya at risk of deadly diphtheria face shortage of medics, antitoxins | 2017-12-29 | daily-sun.com

Rohingya at risk of deadly diphtheria face shortage of medics, antitoxins

Sun Online Desk     29th December, 2017 12:17:15 printer

Rohingya at risk of deadly diphtheria face shortage of medics, antitoxins

 

Nearly two dozen of Rohingyas were killed due to diphtheria with a shortage of medics in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

 

Health workers are struggling to administer antitoxins to patients infected with diphtheria.

 

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has treated around 2,000 diphtheria patients in the past few weeks and is receiving around 100 new cases daily in Rohingya camps.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes diphtheria as a widespread, severe infectious disease with epidemic potential and a mortality rate of up to 10 percent.

 

MSF has managed to provide antitoxins to only around 12 patients daily due to the lack of trained medics.

 

According to a UN report in February, supply of diphtheria antitoxin serum has been limited for many years and the shortage is expected to continue through 2017.

 

The British government said on Thursday it was sending a team of more than 40 doctors, nurses and firefighters to Cox’s Bazar for six weeks to deal with the diphtheria outbreak.

 

The refugees live in densely populated camps and shacks made from bamboo and plastic sheets, with poor access to clean water, sanitation and health services.

 

Myanmar’s military cracked down on Muslim Rohingya from Rakhine state following Rohingya militant attacks on an army base and police posts on August 25.

 

More than 650,000 Rohingya have fled mainly Buddhist Myanmar to Bangladesh since August, on top of more than 200,000 who fled earlier, according to latest United Nations data.


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