Bangladesh: Diphtheria Outbreak - Dec 2017Ongoing
Diphtheria is rapidly spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, WHO warned on 6 December 2017. More than 110 suspected cases, including 6 deaths, have been clinically diagnosed by health partners, including [MSF] and [IFRC]. (WHO, 6 Dec 2017)
The Government of Bangladesh, with the support of UNICEF, [WGO] and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, today launched a vaccination campaign against diphtheria and other preventable diseases for all Rohingya children aged 6 weeks to 6 years living in 12 camps and temporary settlements near the Myanmar border. Accelerated immunization will cover nearly 255 000 children in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts in Cox’s Bazar, while the Government and health partners continue to increase support for diphtheria treatment and prevention. (WHO, 12 Dec 2017)
From 3 November 2017 through 12 December 2017, a total of 804 suspected diphtheria cases including 15 deaths were reported among the displaced Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar. The first suspected case was reported on 10 November 2017 by a clinic of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Cox’s Bazar.
Of the suspected cases, 73% are younger than 15 years of age and 60% females (the sex for one percent cases was not reported). Fourteen of 15 deaths reported among suspected diphtheria cases were children younger than 15 years of age. To date, no cases of diphtheria have been reported from local communities. (WHO, 13 Dec 2017)
WHO has released US$1.5 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to help finance scaling up of health operations in Cox’s Bazar over the next six months, in efforts to respond to an outbreak that has seen more than 1,500 probable cases, including 21 deaths. (WHO, 19 Dec 2017)
As of 19 December, some 1,841 suspected cases of diphtheria have been reported, with 22 deaths. (WHO, 20 Dec 2017)
As of 26 December 2017, a total of 2,526 cases suspected with diphtheria have been reported with 27 deaths recorded. Over 220,000 children under the age of 15 has been vaccinated. (WHO, 27 Dec 2017)
As of 31 December, 28 deaths and 3,014 suspected cases of diphtheria have been reported from Cox’s Bazar. Nearly 10,594 contacts of these suspected cases have been put on diphtheria preventive medication. (WHO, 2 Jan 2018)
As of 6 January 2018, a total of 3,523 cases clinically suspected with diphtheria and 58 laboratory confirmed cases (out of 185 cases tested) have been reported. 104 clinically suspected cases were admitted at diphtheria treatment facilities on 6 January 2018. A total of 30 deaths have been recorded so far. The last reported death was on 2 January. (WHO, 6 Jan 2018)
WHO and UNICEF are working with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to vaccinate over 350,000 children in the Rohingya camps and makeshift settlements with an additional dose of diphtheria vaccine. So far, 4,800 suspected cases of diphtheria and 35 deaths have been reported in Cox’s Bazar. Thirty-seven of the suspected cases were in host communities. (WHO & UNICEF, 28 Jan 2018).
As of 27 January 2018, a total of 4907 cases clinically suspected with diphtheria have been reported. Of these, laboratory specimen information was reported for 269 cases, 88 (32.7%) of which tested positive by PCR. A total of 35 deaths have been recorded as of 27 January. Reports of diphtheria have stabilized at 50-60 case-patients per day over the last 10 days which is consistent with diphtheria antitoxin use (WHO, 29 Jan 2018).
As of 10 February 2018, a total of 5,659 diphtheria case-patients were reported. A total of 38 deaths (case-fatality proportion <1%) were recorded as of 10 February. The last diphtheria related death occurred on 2 February. The second diphtheria vaccination campaign ended on 10 February, with 391 678 children up to 15 years immunized. (WHO, 15 Feb 2018).
As of 14 February 2018, a total of 5,710 suspected diphtheria cases have been reported, with 38 deaths. During the past seven days, 230 suspected cases were reported, compared to 298 cases in the previous week. This is showing a clear declining trend since the beginning of February. Among all the suspected diphtheria cases, more than 75 per cent are children below the age of 15 years and 14 per cent are under five years of age. Twelve per cent of cases have required diphtheria anti-toxin (DAT) (UNICEF, 18 Feb 2018).
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Total population of 766,460 (89%) under surveillance. 145 (92%) of health facilities enrolled.
Completeness of reporting in W2 was 63% (92/145 health facilities).
Total of 70 alerts were triggered, of which 92% were verified and 14% are undergoing risk assessment.
Total of 53 indicator based alerts:
The first meeting of the Bangladesh/Myanmar Joint Working Group was held on 15 January in Naypiydaw, Myanmar. Discussions reportedly focused on the modalities for the return of refugees.
The right of refugees to return voluntarily should continue to be at the core of the dialogue between the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar. In addition to voluntary returns must be safe, dignified and sustainable.
The relocation of 9,400 refugees from Bandarban, near the border with Myanmar, to Kutupalong settlement began on 14 January 2018. It will continue in the next weeks.
Nearly 656,000 refugees have arrived since 25 August 2017, among them 380,190 are children.
As of 11 January 2018, over 4,000 cases of suspected diphtheria were reported, with 32 deaths registered. Over 54 per cent of these deaths occurred among children under five years.
- The Mental Health and Psychosocial Services (MHPSS) unit facilitated two Focus Group Discussions and relaxation sessions with 20 doctors and nurses in Kutupalong. The aim of the exercise was to get insights into Rohingya refugees’ MHPSS needs, the sociocultural dynamic, and training assessment needs.
- A Shelter/NFI Common Pipeline has been established, including an application system and supply numbers. IOM and the Shelter/NFI sector held an orientation meeting with sector partners to explain how to access the supplies via the Common Pipeline.
The Australian Government is providing further support to combat the outbreak of highly contagious and deadly diphtheria amongst Rohingya in Bangladesh who have fled violence in Myanmar.
There have been more than 2,500 cases of suspected diphtheria, including 1,900 children, in camps accommodating Rohingya. At least 30 people have died from the disease, which causes extreme swelling of the throat making it difficult to breathe and swallow.
What you need to know:
655,500 people have arrived since 25 August
9,000 crossed the border in the past week
1.2 million require immediate humanitarian assistance, including earlier arriving Myanmar nationals and vulnerable members of host communities
As part of its response to the diphtheria outbreak among Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, WHO is training local and international doctors, intensive care nurses and other healthcare professionals working in the camps.
“One of the main challenges is that diphtheria is an old infectious disease that many doctors have never seen,” said Dr Janet Victoria Diaz, Clinical Management Leader. “We’ve prioritized training health workers to ensure they know how to distinguish diphtheria from an ordinary sore throat and how to correctly administer diphtheria antitoxins.”
We are examining DFID’s work in Bangladesh and Burma. This Report is the first output from that inquiry. It focuses on the culmination of decades of marginalisation and abuse of the Rohingya people of Rakhine State in northern Burma. This took the form of a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Burmese security forces over the latter half of 2017 causing the flight of over 650,500 Rohingya people into Bangladesh.
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, 16 January 2018 – The health and safety of more than 520,000 Rohingya children living in overcrowded camps and informal settlements in Bangladesh is likely to be put at even greater risk ahead of upcoming cyclone and monsoon seasons, UNICEF warned today.
UK is contributing to a vaccination programme which will protect more than 350,000 vulnerable Rohingya children from a deadly outbreak of diphtheria.
The UK has once again led the response to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh, by contributing to a vaccination programme which will protect more than 350,000 vulnerable Rohingya children from a deadly outbreak of diphtheria.
Since 25 August 2017, more than 656,000 Rohingya refugees have fled violence in Myanmar and crossed into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Not only has the pace of new arrivals made this the fastest growing refugee crisis, the concentration of refugees in Cox’s Bazar is now amongst the densest in the world.
212,000 Rohingya estimated to be in Cox’s Bazar before the August influx
656,000 New arrivals as of 14 January 2018
868,000 Total number of Rohingya refugees estimated to be in Cox’s Bazar.
What you need to know today
A total of 655,500 forcibly-displaced Myanmar nationals have entered Bangladesh since 25 August (Source: ISCG report, 07 January 2018)
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 14 January 2018 — As part of an intensified response to the current diphtheria outbreak, WHO, UNICEF and health sector partners are working with the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to vaccinate more than 475,000 children in Rohingya refugee camps, temporary settlements and surrounding areas.
Arrivals from Myanmar have significantly decreased, with over 2,200 refugees crossing into Bangladesh from 1 to 26 December, compared to over 12,700 in November.
Discussions on returns between the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar are on-going.
UNHCR offers to help the Governments to ensure international standards are contemplated.
The biggest challenge to refugee protection is the environment of the camps.
UNHCR and partners are working to address the logistical challenges of bringing large amounts of aid.
Emirates Airline Foundation supports growing need for healthcare in swelling Rohingya refugee camps
WASHINGTON, DC – Nonprofit disaster response organization Airlink is answering the urgent need for medical workers in Rohingya refugee camps with new NGO partner Medical Teams International (MTI). Recent reports of highly contagious diphtheria, a spike in measles cases, and a lack of basic medical resources are prompting an urgent push for medical volunteers and preventative healthcare in what is now the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.
868,000 Rohingya Population in Cox’s Bazar District
655,500 New Rohingya Arrivals since 25 August 2017 in Cox’s Bazar
1.2 Million People in Need in Cox’s Bazar
As of 6 January 2018, a total of 3 523 cases clinically suspected with diphtheria and 58 laboratory confirmed cases (out of 185 cases tested) have been reported. 104 clinically suspected cases were admitted at diphtheria treatment facilities on 6 January 2018. A total of 30 deaths have been recorded so far. The last reported death was on 2 January.
Preparations are underway for the second round of Penta/Td vaccination for Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN), which will occur in January.
A total of 2934 cases suspected of diphtheria, of whom 27 died, have been reported from 8 November – 30 December 2017. The District Core Committee for Diphtheria Outbreak, chaired by the Civil Surgeon of Cox’s Bazar, has been formalized with WHO and partners to contain the spread of diphtheria through effective treatment, vaccination, and contact tracing activities.
656,000 refugees have arrived since 25 August 2017, 380,480 are children. Even though the arrival rate has decreased, the influx continues.
3,014 suspected cases of diphtheria with 28 deaths, including 24 deaths children, have been reported as of 31 December 2017. 58 per cent of deaths were amongst children younger than five years of age. The daily number of new suspected cases shows a decreasing trend.