Rohingya Refugee Crisis
Rohingya refugees are leaving Myanmar en masse with 655,000+ already in Bangladesh and another 300,000 expected to arrive over the first few weeks of January. As refugee camps become more strained, living conditions diminish. The International Rescue Committee reports 95% of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh don’t have access to clean water. Health care is considered one of the greatest needs in the camps and in the final days of 2017 relief workers reported multiple cases of diphtheria and a lack of the necessary supplies to treat it. At least 27 people have died from the highly contagious bacterial infection and at least 2,000 suspected cases were reported as of December 21st.
Airlink is working with NGO partners to respond to the growing need for medical support in the refugee camps.
Medical Teams International was the first partner organization to deploy with one team member arriving in December and others arriving in mid-January. MTI volunteers and staff in Bangladesh are building Primary Healthcare Clinics and Diarrhea Treatment Units, treating patients, and training refugees as Community Health Workers. MTI teams on the ground see about 67 patients a day, but as the crisis grows, their organization and others are increasing the number of relief workers they send.