Developed By: iNFOTYKE
58 pc minor Rohingya face health hazards
Geneva: Nearly fifty-eight per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.
The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) report also said that these children were highly exposed to infectious diseases, Efe news reported.
‘In a sense it’s no surprise that they must truly see this place as a hell on earth,’ said Simon Ingram, Unicef official and author of the report.
Titled ‘Outcast and Desperate: Rohingya refugee children face a perilous future” was released at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
After two weeks in Cox’s Bazar, a southern Bangladesh town where nearly 600,000 newly arrived refugees are crammed into a crowd of 200,000 Rohingyas who had fled earlier, Ingram described the situation fraught with ‘despair, misery and indescribable suffering’.
The report highlights the dangers these Rohingya minors faced during the attacks when they were in Myanmar or when they were fleeing the repression to Bangladesh.
The report also highlighted several drawings of children with uniformed soldiers killing people and helicopters spraying bullets from the sky.
In mid-August, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) carried out a coordinated attack on security posts in Myanmar, sparking a violent response from the military which led to thousands of Rohingyas in Rakhine state fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Ingram explained that very little is known about what is happening in Rakhine, since humanitarian agencies have not been able to enter the region since August.
Most of the refugees ‘are already undernourished, since the repression also included the burning of food stores and the destruction of crops’, he said.
According to the Unicef estimates, one in every five children under the age of five is suffering from acute malnutrition and about 14,500 suffer severe acute malnutrition.
Ingram explained that the main danger of infectious diseases have been mitigated with the vaccination campaign against cholera, measles and polio, but much remains to be done to tackle these risks. He added the situation worsened with the lack of clean drinking water as these children consumed only contaminated water which is another main source of infection. (IANS)