The World Health Organization (WHO) has voiced concern about the vulnerability of Rohingya people who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar following brutal attacks a year ago. A UN commissioned report has accused the military of war crimes, saying soldiers were “killing indiscriminately, gang-raping women, assaulting children and burning entire villages”. Around 900,000 Rohingya people have sought safety in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The WHO says its concerted efforts over the past year, together with those of the the Bangladesh Government and its health partners, have helped save thousands of lives, and prevented and curtailed deadly disease outbreaks. During that time, 155 health posts have been established in addition to 60 primary health care facilities and 11 secondary care facilities.
However, it said Rohingya people remain vulnerable and there is a need to further scale up services to meet the “complex, evolving and long-term health needs” of this population.
“We have done things that collectively we can be proud of. However, we need to continue to support the health needs of this vulnerable population and remain vigilant against the spread of diseases. This is still a very fragile situation,” said Dr Peter Salama, WHO’s Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response.