Health Desk:06 January 2018: New figures reveal that more than 48,000 Rohingya babies are expected to be born in Bangladesh this year, beginning their lives in refugee camps and makeshift settlements where families rely on food rations to survive and live in flimsy tents made of plastic and bamboo, Save The Children reports.
Few of these babies will be born in health facilities, and from day one will be at an increased risk of getting sick, suffering malnutrition and therefore dying before the age of five, warns Save the Children.
“We’re expecting about 130 live births per day across 2018. Most babies will likely be born at home in basic tents, in part because of the shortage of quality, 24-hour health facilities able to handle and manage basic emergency obstetrics, as well as challenges accessing health care,” Save the Children Health Advisor in Cox’s Bazar, Rachael Cummings said.
“The camps have poor sanitation and are a breeding ground for diseases like diphtheria, measles, and cholera, to which newborn babies are particularly vulnerable. This is no place for a child to be born.
Save the Children runs a network of nine community health posts in Cox’s Bazar. Staffed by experienced doctors, nurses and midwives, each facility see about 70 people a day, many of whom are expectant or new mothers, as well as people presenting with conditions like skin disease, fever, and malnutrition.