Bangladesh + 2 more

Rohingya Refugee Crisis - WHO Bangladesh Bi-Weekly Situation Report #5, 14 March 2019

Situation Report
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  • Construction on the microbiology facility has begun as per the approved floorplan at the IEDCR Field Laboratory, Cox’s Bazar. In addition, the installation of a new distilled water facility is well underway.

  • A total of 38 alerts (triggers) were reported and reviewed in the EWARS system in week 10 2019, which is lower than previous week (60 in week 9). All alerts were reviewed within 48 hours.

  • 612 Diphtheria anti-toxin treatments (DAT) were sent to support emergency response in Yemen

  • The health sector initiated the rationalization process through an inter-agency task team, endorsed by the Civil Surgeon. Task team members have now completed their scoring of health facilities and the sector is planning a plenary workshop soon to review camp-wise suggestions from the task team.


There are an estimated 911 000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, according to the latest ISCG situation report (January 2019). This includes 34 172 previously registered refugees from Myanmar in Kutupalong refugee camp and Nayapara refugee camp. All refugees, including new arrivals, face compounding vulnerabilities including health. WHO has been responding to this crisis since September 2017 to date. Summary of response actions from epidemiological weeks 5 and 8 2019 are presented below; according to the WHO functions.



  • As of week 10, 2019, a total of 171 health facilities areregistered as active Early Warning, Alert and Response System (EWARS) reporting sites. Coverage of EWARS reporting in now 81 per cent (171/212).

  • Of these sites, 133 submitted their weekly reports (76%), resulting in a cumulative completeness of 76% for 2019.

  • A total of 33 alerts (triggers) were reported and reviewed in the EWARS system in week 8 2019 which is lower than previous week (75 in week 7). All alerts were reviewed within 48 hours.

  • Acute respiratory infection (ARI), suspected Varicella and Acute watery diarrhea (AWD) were the diseases with highest proportional morbidity this week. No notable changes in other diseases and syndromes. All these conditions are being monitored by WHO Epidemiology team.

Diphtheria Update

  • Twenty new diphtheria case-patients (all suspected) were reported in weeks 9 and 10. Total case-patients reported in EWARS is now 8 474

  • Of these, 294 case patients have tested positive on PCR, with the last confirmed case reported on 12 February. Of the remaining cases 2,724 were classified as probable and 5,456 as suspected.

  • The total number of deaths reported due to diphtheria so far is 45. Last death was reported on 15 January 2019.

  • A total 206 diphtheria case-patients were reported from Host community. Of which 30 were diagnosed confirmed on PCR, 63 were classified as probable and 110 were classified as suspected.

  • No death has been reported from the host community.