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.
A vaccination campaign is ongoing with 2 440 children between 0 and 6 years old and 2 885 children between 7 and 15 years old vaccinated to date. A large community mobilisation and information campaign has started.
On 15 December, an international call was made by the Government of Bangladesh. On 16 December evening, WHO requested assistance to the Union Civil Protection Mechanism on behalf of the Government. The request concerns five clinical expert teams (EMTs) to treat patients for approximately three months.
The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is in contact with Participating States to identify potential offers of assistance. It is also in contact with the WHO.