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Vaccination of diphtheria begun again in refugee camps

By Burma Times

Third doss of diphtheria has been begun and vaccinated the refugee children, men including women in Rohingya refugee camps today (Tuesday), a refugee from Nayapara camp said.

Earlier, two doss of diphtheria were vaccinated the new arrival refugees, official refugees and local Bangladeshi, a field doctor said.

The doctor also said, the vaccination of diphtheria has been vaccinated the refugees as diphtheria transmission occurs from person to person through droplets such as coughing and sneezing and close physical contact. It can be treated by drugs and prevented by vaccine. Symptoms include a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to difficulty in breathing, heart failure, paralysis and even death.

The first case of the latest outbreak was reported in last November 2017 in a Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar.

Since then, more than 27 Rohingya children have died after contracting the bacterial disease. Another over 2,700 living in camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf have been infected, sources said.

After getting diphtheria case, the Bangladesh government and international organizations have started a mass vaccination programme in around the camps.

Crystal VanLeeuwen, MSF’s emergency medical coordinator from Bangladesh said, “I was very surprised after getting suspected case of diphtheria.”

“We have vaccinated around 1.2 lakh Rohingya children aged below seven and around 1 lakh children aged between 7 and 15,” said Salam, the Cox’s Bazar civil surgeon.

In Myanmar’s military crackdown, August 25, 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled to neighboring country and took shelter along the Bangladesh border under the Cox’s Bazar district. ##

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