50萬名羅興亞兒童面臨危機──孟加拉難民營過分擁擠、熱帶氣旋及季候風季節將至

 

50萬名羅興亞兒童面臨危機──孟加拉難民營過分擁擠、熱帶氣旋及季候風季節將至

On 30 November 2017 in Bangladesh, a young woman and a baby waiting to be immunized watch as a health worker fills a syringe with vaccine, in the Unchiprang makeshift Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar district during the UNICEF-supported measles vaccination campaign.

Since late August 2017, some 625,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the violence in their homeland. More than half of them are children – many in dire need of vital support. Up to 348,000 children under the age of 15 are estimated in need of urgent health services. With crowded living conditions and a severe lack of adequate water and sanitation, the risk of communicable disease outbreak – including cholera and measles – remains very high. The risks of vaccine-preventable diseases are also high among the Rohingya population, where immunization coverage is low. As of 18 November, the number of measles cases has reached 1,714, with two fatalities recorded. In response to the measles outbreak, a 12-day mop-up measles/rubella (MR) campaign targeting 336,943 children 6 months to 15 years old, and involving more than 100 teams, was initiated that same day. By 29 November, 97 per cent of the children (325,457) had been immunized. To ensure that the remaining children are reached, the campaign has been extended for three additional days to conduct mop-up+ vaccination activities that begin on 5 December 2017. UNICEF continues to provide integrated primary-health-care services and has reached over 21,550 children under-5 and pregnant women through outpatient consultations by partners during the past two months.

© UNICEF/Brown

年輕女子和嬰兒正等候接種疫苗,保健人員在科克斯巴扎爾的Unchiprang難民營為難民準備疫苗針。

過分擁擠的難民營可散播傳染病和致命病毒。

孟加拉,科克斯巴扎爾/香港,2018116——超過52萬名羅興亞兒童在過分擁擠的難民營及臨時安置所生活。熱帶氣旋及季候風季節將至,他們的健康及安全狀況受威脅。

UNICEF駐孟加拉代表貝格貝爾表示:「熱帶氣旋及季候風季節將至,可能會把本已嚴重的人道危機變成一場災難。數十萬名在惡劣環境生活的兒童將面臨更嚴重的疾病、洪災、泥石流和流離失所等危機。」

他續說:「不安全食水、簡陋的衞生和醫療設施會導致爆發霍亂和傳播E型肝炎病毒。E型肝炎病毒對孕婦和嬰兒有致命風險;而積水會吸引能夠傳播瘧疾的蚊子。首要任務是要保護兒童不受疾病傷害。」

難民人口中發現超過4,000宗疑似白喉病例,32宗死亡病例中至少有24名兒童。UNICEF和伙伴推行白喉疫苗接種行動,同時為兒童和家人提供安全食水及衞生設施,但過分擁擠的難民營和極端氣候的威脅將增加爆發疫情的風險。

除了對控制疫情造成威脅,熱帶氣旋季節亦會增加發生洪災和泥石流的機會,直接危害兒童生命。時間緊迫,若不能在三月熱帶氣旋季節來臨前完成防範措施,威力一般的暴風雨也能帶來毀滅性的影響。

熱帶氣旋通常在兩個季節襲擊孟加拉,分別是三月至七月和九月至十二月,其中五月和十月發生最多次暴風雨。去年五月,熱帶氣旋「莫拉」登陸該地區,至少摧毀25%羅興亞難民的避難所,造成嚴重破壞。

此外,七月開始的候風季節帶來大量雨水,可能引發泥石流和洪災。避難所、食水系統、衞生間和其他基礎設施可能在暴風雨和洪水中被嚴重摧毀。

自8月25日,孟加拉政府慷慨收容超過65萬名羅興亞難民,目前正和UNICEF攜手為近期和早前逃難至當地的羅興亞難民,及為科克斯巴扎爾的居民提供支援,以拯救生命。