United Nations agencies launch cholera immunization campaign for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Violet Powell
October 11, 2017

A vessel carrying Rohingya overturned near the coast of Bangladesh, resulting in the deaths of at least a dozen people.

10, medical teams from the health ministry, supported by UNICEF and WHO, started a massive cholera immunization drive in the camps that accommodate the new arrivals as well as numerous hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh during earlier spasms of violence in Myanmar, racing against time to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Several thousand Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar surged into Bangladesh on Monday, officials said, with reports of children dying from hunger, exhaustion and fever among the latest wave of refugees.

The refugee crisis erupted after Rohingya militant raids on Myanmar police posts on August 25 prompted a brutal military backlash.

The worlds second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign has been launched in the refugee camps of Bangladeshs Coxs Bazar to protect the Rohingyas and host communities from infection, the World Health Organization said today.

"Many are starving as we could not even go to the shop or market to buy food", said the 30-year-old Rohingya farmhand, who lived in a village east of Myanmar's Buthidaung township. Communities in Chittagong share close cultural, religious and linguistic ties with the Rohingya, and images on social media purportedly showing abuses against the Muslim minority in mainly Buddhist Myanmar have aroused strong sympathy in Bangladesh.

"They pretended like they wanted a war", she said. Most recently, on September 28, a boat carrying about 80 refugees overturned.

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Since then, over 500,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.

Vasquez of Austin, Texas, said in written testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Oct. 5 that the situation affecting the largely Muslim Rohingya population in Myanmar deserve "safe, humane and voluntary durable solutions" as they struggle amid violence that has caused them to flee their homeland.

Yet, Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups, considering them instead as Bengali, infiltrators from Bangladesh.

"We deeply regret the reaction from worldwide countries based on the news without truth", said the lawmaker.

Their wedding in Cox's Bazar was the first known one between a Bangladeshi and a Rohingya refugee since the August flare-up, the newspaper reported.

This river separates Bangladesh from Myanmar.

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