Rohingya Refugee Camps Prepare for Coronavirus

The refugee camps housing more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have no reported cases of coronavirus, but it hasn’t stopped workers from setting up isolation units in hospitals outside the camps.

With news of Bangladesh’s first three cases of coronavirus last weekend, Cox’s Bazar camps, which are the world’s largest refugee resettlements, medics are training women on cleanliness and the best health practices as they are the heads of their household and will spread awareness about the disease to their families and those around them.

Spokeswoman for the U.N.’s refugee agency Louise Donovan told that “the U.N. has trained hundreds of health staff to detect the infection in an attempt to provide early warnings should the virus spread to the camp.”

Women and children make up 70% of the camps, with the Rohingya people having migrated from Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape mass violence, rape and an all out attempt of an ethnic cleansing from military forces.

The Realist Woman’s take:

The Rohingya people have been through enough hell and it’s important they aren’t left out of disaster preparedness plans should this virus find its way into the camps. The refugees are already vulnerable due to limited medical care and poor hygiene practices and living conditions. 

It’s comforting to know that these people haven't been forgotten.