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23 September, 2017 12:25:51 AM

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‘1.5 lakh U-5 Rohingya children suffer from malnutrition’

SHAMSUDDIN ILLIUS from Cox’s Bazar
‘1.5 lakh U-5 Rohingya children suffer from malnutrition’
A hungry Rohingya boy tries to eat food in a polythene bag at Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar yesterday. FOCUS BANGLA PHOTO

Among the Rohingya refugees who have taken shelter in Bangladesh following a spate of violence since August 25 in Myanmar’s Rakhine state,154,066 children, under the age of five, are suffering from malnutrition. Moreover, 1,500 children have been separated from parents and close relatives.

Over 14,420 children are acutely malnourished, some of them needing hospitalisation, says an Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) report and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

As per their estimate, over 300,000 Rohingya people need nutritional assistance, of whom 154,066 are children.

Jean Jacques Simon, head of communication, UNICEF, said 60 per cent of the refugees who had entered Bangladesh were children. Most of them were suffering from mental trauma.

“Nearly 1,500 children have been separated from their parents and close relatives. This is a big number of children without relatives or parents. We are trying to find their relatives,” said Jean Jacques Simon.

Different UN Agencies and NGOs, including UNICEF, ISCG, Save the Children, Brac and Community Development Centre (Codec), have been working for Rohingya children at the makeshift camps. Jean-Jacques Simon told The Independent: “Many of them crossed the border with traumatic experiences. They need counselling. That’s why we have made many child-friendly spaces at the camps. We have mobile clinics for them. Many mothers gave birth on the border and in Bangladesh.”

These children are scattered at the Kutupalong registered camp, Balukhali makeshift, Leda makeshift, Nayapara registered camp, Thainkhali settlement, Unchiprang settlement and houses of local people. Of the 23,622 newly arrived children, those below five are being screened for malnutrition at Kutuplaong.

The report also says 54,633 pregnant women and lactating mothers require supplementary food support and treatment to fight malnutrition. Moreover, 91,056 adolescent mother girls are in need of nutrition support.

IK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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