• Since mid-December 2018, there have been 10,240 cases reported of Varicella (chicken pox) in Rohingya camps. UNICEF has helped lead the Varicella awareness campaign as part of outbreak response in the Rohingya camps. UNICEF and partners’ network of 1,300 trained community volunteers spread key prevention and mitigation messages to 150,000 people.
• UNICEF and partners are supporting 1,000 host community adolescents (57 per cent girls) with occupational/vocational skills training in 11 courses. The programme targets disadvantaged and vulnerable adolescents who either dropped out or never enrolled in school.
• UNICEF has published its Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal for 2019; $152.5 million is required to provide lifesaving and protection support to 685,574 people including 438,074 children from the Rohingya and host communities.
• UNICEF would like to thank the KfW Development Bank for their generous funding support at the start of the year of US$ 20 million that will ensure continuity of critical services in 2019.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
With the cyclone and monsoon pre-season approaching in March, UNICEF is reviewing and updating itspreparedness plan. This includes identifying additional human resources that may be required, procuring additional contingency supplies; identifying UNICEF and partner warehouses for prepositioning; and reinforcing key infrastructure, including service sites and latrines.
Reported cases of Varicella (chicken pox) nearly doubled from the third to the fourth week of January 2019, from 2,710 to 5,376. In January, the total number of cases was 9,972. This increases the cumulative total from when cases were initially reported in mid-December to 10,2402 cases. In response of Varicella outbreak, Health Sector partners have trained 197 health care service providers in Ukhiya and Teknaf SubDistrict Health Complexes on outbreak preparedness, response, reporting and coordination. Posters detailing key guidelines for Varicella management have been developed and disseminated across the Rohingya camps. Community health workers and mobilizers have conducted household and community awareness sessions, reinforcing the message that infected children should not go to the public places, including learning centres and child protection centres (for an overview of UNICEF communication efforts, please see the Communications for Development section). No spike in Varicella cases has yet been reported from the host community.
The 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP) is currently under review by government at the national level. Initial feedback has been provided by the government to the humanitarian community. Responses are currently being prepared and aim is to finalize the JRP in the coming weeks UNICEF has finalized its Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal which is now available at this link: https://www.unicef.org/appeals/bangladesh.html. The 2019 HAC has included the requirements under the JRP along with broader support to the affected host communities, and emergency preparedness and response nationwide.