Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 19409
Publish Date: 13:18 - 16 February 2018
TEHRAN, February 16 -As she sits by her son Mohammad Farooq's bedside at a clinic near Bangladesh's Kutupalong refugee camp, Noor Begum is feeling far more optimistic than she was 24 hours earlier.

At diphtheria clinic, medics struggle to treat RohingyaTEHRAN,Young Journalists Club (YJC) -As she sits by her son Mohammad Farooq's bedside at a clinic near Bangladesh's Kutupalong refugee camp, Noor Begum is feeling far more optimistic than she was 24 hours earlier.

"He had a fever and he was vomiting. He could not eat because of the pain," said Noor, who fled her village of Ludang Para in Buthidaung, Myanmar for Bangladesh as part of the Rohingya exodus that began in late August.

Mohammad is suffering from diphtheria - a serious bacterial infection with common symptoms such as high fever, a sore throat, difficulties in swallowing and a swelling of the neck.

"I couldn't breathe. My head was paining ... my body was shaking," Mohammad said lying on the bed at the clinic run by the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) aid group.

Until recently, diphtheria had been all but eradicated in Bangladesh but in November, the disease broke out in some of the country's refugee camps, where many from Noor's Rohingya community have arrived fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar.

Nearly a million Rohingya now live in the sprawling refugee settlements in Cox's Bazar near the Myanmar-Bangladesh border.

It is a densely populated site where sanitation and hygiene are often poor.

Such conditions can create a breeding ground for diphtheria, which is contagious and generally spread among people through airborne droplets passed on from sneezes, coughs or even just talking.

Disease outbreak

At the clinic, Mohammad was given an antitoxin - a powerful drug that blocks the production of toxins produced by diphtheria bacteria - to fight the disease the day before.

"He is now better and I’m so grateful to the doctors," Noor said looking at her son who looked weak, as he lay covered by a grey blanket. "They've taken great care of us and we are so happy."

But not everyone has been so lucky. At least 38 people have died since the disease first broke out in the camps three months ago.

Source:Aljazeera

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