Monsoon season could wreak havoc in Bangladesh refugee camps

Since August 25, 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled targeted violence and persecution in Myanmar to take refuge in makeshift shelters in camps in Bangladesh. The refugees ended up in densely crowded and overpopulated makeshift settlements in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar. Their shelters are mostly made of plastic and bamboo, packed closely together and with inadequate water and sanitation conditions.

All factors combined—the sheer size of the population, the densely crowded conditions, the inadequate shelter, and the apparently very low immunization status—create a perfect storm for the public health situation.

Something I am concerned about is fresh emergencies within the current emergency. For example, the upcoming rainy season, with the monsoon and tropical storms in an area that is prone to heavy cyclones, presents an obvious greater potential for waterborne diseases such as acute watery diarrhea, which is a significant concern.

Furthermore, there are very few settlements that can be accessed by vehicle—a lot of them still can only be reached on foot.

[Doctors Without Borders]

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