In 2020, with Rohingya refugees, we continued our activities with a focus on preventing infection with the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
We provided training on community health to Rohingya volunteers. One of them is for needs assessment and health education based on identified needs. Then we created health education scenarios on the following topics:
– How COVID-19 affects mental health? What kind of repercussions does it have on physical health and what to do to tackle problems?
– How to deal with misleading rumors and hoaxes that are widespread in the camp? How to respond appropriately, and how to get correct information?
Due to the spread of COVID-19, the security situation in the camp is rapidly deteriorating as seen in increase in gender-based violence as aid workers’ access to the camp is significantly restricted. Security of Rohingya refugees is once again threatened, bringing anxiety and fear to people and making it difficult for them to keep hope. Also, some camp residents are becoming to be more prone to involvement in crimes and illegal trade than ever before.
Currently, the Bangladeshi government regards the existence of Rohingya refugees as a regional security risk, is proceeding with relocation of people to Bhashan Char Island and pursuing discussions with the Myanmar and Chinese governments regarding repatriation. As always, Rohingya voices are not fully heard. We believe that they should be relocated and/or repatriated on their informed decision. We will be always on their side.
Akiko Kida, Medical Coordinator