Muntahara, three years old. He has been suffering from a skin disease for more than two months. The whole time he went through the pain of itching.
Muntahara’s father Mohammad Sharif is a resident of this block of Hakimpara Camp No. 14. Mohammad Sharif said that not only Muntahara but also 4 out of 6 members of his family are affected by this disease.
Talking to several Rohingyas from Hakimpara camp including Mohammad Forkan, Ayesha Bibi, Nurul Amin, they said that it would be difficult to find any family in the camp that is not affected by the disease. Everyone in the family is being attacked. It is better to take medicine for a while, then the itching starts again.
One and a half year old child of Rohingya woman Rokeya Begum (24) is also suffering from this disease. She said her child could not eat or sleep because of the itching. She cries all the time.
In such a situation, the health message is saying that it is going to take the shape of an epidemic in the camp.
Health officials at the Rohingya camp say the disease, which has spread to the camp, is called scabies. Scabies is a contagious dermatitis, commonly called scabies. It is caused by a type of insect that nests in the skin. It nests in the skin and lays eggs.
Dr. involved in the treatment of scabies in the camp. Kamar Uddin said the disease is usually spread by sharing bedding and using the same clothes. The main symptom of this disease is itching. Itching can cause sores and if not treated quickly, there is a risk of damage to the kidneys. So it is important to get treatment quickly.
A visit to an MSF hospital in Hakimpara Camp No. 14 revealed that most of the patients who came for treatment were suffering from scabies. According to the information provided by the MSF, 36,000 Rohingyas suffering from scabies have been treated at the MSF hospital in camps 14 and 15 from March 14 alone. The MSF has also treated thousands of patients at health centers in other camps. The number of children and women is more.
We recently mailed to MSF Communications asking for the current status of scabies. According to the data provided by them, the number of people infected with scabies has increased the most this year in the last three years. According to their estimates, the company has treated an average of 43,000 skin patients in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, the number of patients suffering from skin diseases increased to 63 thousand. They started counting scabies infections from March 14 to June 20 this year. During this time they have treated 36,000 scabies patients at Hakimpara and Jamtali Health Centers. He also treated 4,200 scabies patients at Camp 8W and Goalmara Health Center. Besides, MSF has treated many more scabies patients in Kutupalong, Balukali and Uchiprang.
Medical Activity Manager of Medicine Sense Frontiers (MSF) Dr. Kamar Uddin said that as the number of scabies patients increased earlier this year, a temporary scabies treatment center was set up in their primary health center. Where the victims are treated separately. The medical aid provider claims that the scabies situation is deteriorating day by day.
In early April, the World Health Organization conducted a survey of health partners with 33 Rohingya camps for an assessment of scabies infection. The survey raises concerns about scabies.
Preliminary results show that the World Health Organization has an average prevalence rate of 10.2 percent. That means 10.2 percent of Rohingya in the camp are infected with scabies. Which exceeds the infection threshold for the health sector. The report indicates that scabies is slowly becoming epidemic.
More than one million Rohingyas persecuted in Myanmar live in 34 camps in Ukhia-Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar. Every Rohingya family has to be crammed into a small room in the asylum camp.
Mohammad Jubayer, a resident of this block of Hakimpara Camp No. 14, showed us how 8 people lived together in only two small rooms. They have to cook in these two rooms In such a situation, he said, there is no chance to keep the scabies family member apart. The situation is similar to that of Zubair, almost all Rohingyas in the camp. Zubair said his daughter Suhana and wife Sanjida are currently suffering from scabies.
Maulvi Hanif and Altaj, residents of the same camp, said the prevalence of the disease in the camp was increasing due to the small number of people living in the small area as well as inadequate water and sanitation. In the camps, up to 20 people share a toilet, where they use each other’s soap. In addition, about 300 to 400 people collect drinking water from a tubewell. As a result of living in such a close-knit environment, the risk of the disease spreading rapidly is increasing, say health officials.
Mohammad Helal Uddin, a people’s representative from the area adjacent to the Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhia.
He said not only the Rohingya, but also the locals around the camp were being affected by scabies. The general public is concerned. He demanded to take necessary steps quickly.
Although the situation in the camp is worrying, Cox’s Bazar Civil Surgeon said. Mahbubur Rahman says scabies is still at a normal level. He said there was nothing to panic about, adding that health officials at the Rohingya camp had not yet given him any information about the epidemic.
Although the incidence of dermatitis was quite high in 2020 and 2021, the number of scabies national dermatitis has increased sharply this year. If the health department does not take concerted action now, the situation will become difficult to manage if the scabies epidemic takes shape.