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Health Risk Factors and Refugee Children in Bangladesh

A Study on Rohingya at Kutupalong Camps


  • Nusrat Parvin Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh



In the Cox's Bazar refugee camps, around 855,000 Rohingya people live, with 54 percent of them being children. In Myanmar, these children were denied access to adequate healthcare, immunizations, food & nutrition, hygiene, and education. Since August 2017, when the Rohingya were forced to flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh due to the Myanmar military's brutality, they have become more vulnerable. Children were vulnerable to hunger and various infectious diseases as a result of the fighting and displacement, which posed serious health hazards. The numerous health risk factors of the children were analyzed in this study in order to provide a picture of the refugee camp.

Method: In December 2017, a questionnaire was used to assess the shelter and camp environment, food and nutrition, WASH knowledge and practice, vaccination and immunisation, medication and supplements, and education of 120 parents of Kutupalong camp no 4, OO zone.

Result: The health of 29% of the children was better than a year before, while 68 percent of the children had the same result as the previous year. Breakfast and supper were consumed by 96.67 percent of the children, and 80.8 percent were fed three times lunch and supper, with 63 percent agreeing that the camp setting was not ideal for their growth. 61 percent of families could provide enough water for their children using the water containers provided by various NGOs (Non-governmental Organisations). Despite the fact that the water sources are not close to their homes, 98.3 percent of families use tube well water. Only 49.2 percent of parents said the latrines had enough water for bathing and cleaning, while 29.2 percent said they had adequate lighting and were in their suitable placements. After using the restroom, 66.7 percent of children used soap, 16.7% used soil or ashes, and the rest used nothing. Vaccinations had been given to 91.7 percent of Rohingya children. In Bangladeshi refugee camps, 56.2 percent of Rohingya children were educated by learning centers run by various NGOs and Maktabs (Muslim kids were taught Quran in masjids).

Limitations: This report has relatively limited data that does not provide a comprehensive picture of the children's camp situation.

Conclusion: Based on the findings of the study, the camp's status may be improved if the children and their families were given good WASH knowledge and introduced to the WASH awareness programme, proper water supply and sanitation, and health care as needed.


Rohingya children, health risks, WASH, nutrition, vacine


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