Burma Times Correspondent: September 11, 2015
An outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) is threatening the lives of countless Rohingyas in the Thay Choung IDP camp of Akyab.
Many Rohingyas have been diagnosed with this deadly disease in the first week of September.
TB is a deadly disease that spreads quickly from person to person and can kill its victims if left untreated. That is a dangerous development because the residents of these IDP camps have no access to medical care owing to government restrictions.
Hospitals in Arakan state do not generally treat Muslim patients. Furthermore the IDPs are forbidden to leave the camps. In such a situation, foreign NGOs are the only lifeline. But government restrictions have made it very difficult for them to treat Rohingyas.
At this moment, TB victims have little access to medical care. One ray of hope is the India based Rohingya Youth Union is taking steps to ensure treatment for the IDPs.
Even then, the government indifference might cause an outbreak of the TB epidemic. That will affect not only the Rohingyas, but the Rakhines as well because TB is an airborne disease.
Living conditions in the IDP camps, described by NGOs as the worst in the world are blamed for the current situation.
In the meantime, curable diseases are taking a heavy toll on the Rohingyas as the government continues to restrict medical services. Many believe this is a ploy to drive the Rohingyas out without committing to actual violence.