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22 Dec 2017 description


  • As of 19 December 2017, a total of 1841 cases suspected with diphtheria have been reported, of whom 109 presented at the treating health facilities on 19 December 2017. A total of 22 deaths have been recorded so far.

  • Vaccination started in Ukhia and Teknaf on 12 December for children under 7 with pentavalent, pneumococcal, and bivalent oral polio vaccines and on 17 December for children from 7 up to 15 years with tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine.

21 Dec 2017 description

The Bangladesh emergency is a textbook refugee situation.

People fleeing Myanmar should not be forcibly returned. Return needs to be voluntary, safe, and dignified.

The Government of Bangladesh has generously opened its border for refugees entering the country.
International support continues to be needed to assist refugees and host communities.

UNHCR seeks to ensure that all refugees enjoy their rights on an equal footing. Refugees should be able to participate fully in the decisions that affect their lives.


21 Dec 2017 description

By Francis Markus, IFRC

The radiologist opens the bamboo gate to the X-ray tent and four year old Nur Kolima heads gingerly in to lie down on the bed for his image to be taken. His mother, Fatima, is taking no chances with his cough symptoms.

“I had three children, but my little boy, aged 10 months died of fever,” she says with a blank expression.

21 Dec 2017 description

Key Highlights
- IOM and its partners are scaling up its Shelter and Non Food Items response through its distribution of over 88,500 blankets and emergency shelter, including bamboo bundles for over 1,500 families.

21 Dec 2017 description

The Australian Government is deploying a team of medical experts to Bangladesh to survey health needs following an outbreak of highly contagious diphtheria in camps accommodating Rohingya who have fled from Myanmar.

The deployment of the medical team follows a request for urgent assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO). Since November, more than 1,300 people, including 1,000 children, in the camps are thought to have contracted diphtheria, which can cause death from extreme swelling of the throat. 

20 Dec 2017 description
report BRAC

What you need to know today

  • A total of 655,000 forcibly-displaced Myanmar nationals have entered Bangladesh since 25 August (Source: ISCG report, 19 December)

19 Dec 2017 description
report UN News Service

19 December 2017 – As the Rohingya refugee emergency in Bangladesh enters its fourth month, United Nations agencies are scaling up their relief work to respond to a range of issues, including outbreak of diphtheria, lack of access to sanitation and sexual violence.

19 Dec 2017 description


655,000 Rohingya arrived from Myanmar into Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh between 25 August and 17 December. The influx has placed immense strain on basic services in the area. The population density is extremely high and there is a lack of adequate WASH facilities. There is therefore a high risk of the quick spread of disease. Over 1,300 suspected cases of diphtheria have been reported between 8 November and 15 December.

Read more about Bangladesh


19 Dec 2017 description

EUCPM activation

  • A high number of diphtheria cases have been reported among Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. 1 474 suspected cases have been admitted to health facilities so far and 20 deaths have been confirmed among refugees.

  • According to the World Health Organisation, health facilities are unable to cope with the current situation, the number of beds is considered insufficient, and the disease risks spreading to host communities.

19 Dec 2017 description

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 19 December 2017 — The World Health Organization has deployed additional staff and resources to respond to a rapidly spreading outbreak of diphtheria among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

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.

18 Dec 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund


• The humanitarian situation for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh remains dire, with some 655,000 refugees newly arrived since 25 August 2017. At least 58% of them are children. Even if the pace of arrivals has slowed down, thousands of refugees continue to arrive every week, adding pressure on already heavily stretched resources on the ground.

18 Dec 2017 description


The first cases of Diphtheria are thought to have occurred on 8 November 2017. Since then, there has been an increase in suspected cases centred around Balukhali camp, but also spreading throughout camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf. As of 15th December, the total number of cases is as follows:

17 Dec 2017 description

Since 25 August, more than 655,000 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.

Key numbers

212,000 Rohingya estimated to be in Cox’s Bazar before the August influx

655,000 New arrivals as of 17 December 2017

867,000 Total number of Rohingya refugees estimated to be in Cox’s Bazar.

15 Dec 2017 description

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Nearly four months into the Rohingya refugee crisis, UNHCR is increasingly worried about the deterioration of the overall protection environment in which refugees are living. In this environment, refugees face a multitude of protection risks.

14 Dec 2017 description
report BRAC

What you need to know

  • 646,000 people have arrived since 25 August

  • 10,000 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

13 Dec 2017 description

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 (Figure 1). The first suspected case was reported on 10 November 2017 by a clinic of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Cox’s Bazar.

12 Dec 2017 description

UNHCR issued a statement on the return arrangement signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh, stressing that conditions in Myanmar are not yet conducive for returns.

The trend of new arrivals has considerably decreased with least 270 people crossing into Bangladesh so far in December, compared with 20,000 in November.

There is currently an outbreak of diphtheria among refugees in Cox’s Bazar. UNHCR has made its Transit Centre available to serve as a treatment and isolation facility

Operational Context

12 Dec 2017 description


12 December 2017, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – The Government of Bangladesh, with the support of UNICEF, the World Health Organization 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.