HM Faridul Alam Shahin, Cox’s Bazar: After Dhaka, the Rohingya community is being most affected by dengue in Cox’s Bazar. Their infection rate is 90 percent, with a fatality rate of 100 percent.
The office of the Civil Surgeon in the tourist district of Cox’s Bazar states that over 1.2 million Rohingya reside in the Ukhiya and Teknaf camps. These camps, characterized by dense population, inadequate drainage systems, stagnant water bodies, polythene waste, and thatched houses serving as breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes, are contributing to the spread of dengue in the camps.
Additionally, due to limited awareness campaigns through newspapers, television channels, or social media in their native language, the Rohingya community in the camps remains less informed, further increasing the dengue outbreak, according to the Civil Surgeon’s office.
According to the information provided by the Civil Surgeon’s office, from January 1st to July 15th of the current year, a total of 2,023 dengue cases have been reported in Cox’s Bazar. Among them, 1,905 cases are Rohingya individuals.
Dr. ImrulKayes, Medical Officer of Cox’s Bazar Civil Surgeon’s office, said, “While dengue was previously prevalent in urban areas, it has now spread throughout the country. Cox’s Bazar has multiple reasons for the increasing dengue outbreak.
“The Rohingya community resides in densely populated camps. In addition, the water supply, drainage system, stagnant water bodies, and tanks in the camps contribute to the breeding of dengue mosquitoes. Furthermore, the influx of tourists from Dhaka, Chittagong, and other cities to Cox’s Bazar has also contributed to the increased risk of dengue.”
The officials of the Civil Surgeon’s office state that the people of Bangladesh are already aware of dengue. However, in addition to raising awareness about dengue through various media channels, campaigns are being conducted since the start of the dengue season. It is difficult to raise awareness among the Rohingya community due to their unfamiliarity with the promotional materials in their language.
According to the latest report from the district Civil Surgeon’s office, the highest number of dengue cases was observed in five camps-Camp-3, Camp-17, Camp-4, Camp-1W and Camp-24.
In the last 24 hours (as of July 15th), five new cases were reported, including three in the municipality, one in Ukhiya, and one in Chakaria. Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital currently has 19 admitted dengue patients, and the Upazila Health Complexes have 29 admitted dengue patients.
In Cox’s Bazar, a total of 17,390 people were affected by dengue last year. Among them, 15,352 were Rohingya individuals. Although none of the local communities were affected by dengue in the first six months of that year, during the same period this year, 68 local individuals have been affected by dengue. However, in July alone, until now (July 15th), 49 local individuals have been affected by dengue. In addition to that, in Cox’s Bazar, a total of 30 Rohingya and nine local individuals died from dengue last year. As of now, four deaths due to dengue have been reported in the district. All of them were identified as Rohingya, according to the Civil Surgeon’s office.
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