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8 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 February, 2018 01:00:15 AM
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Rohingya camps burdened with births, marriages

‘Nearly 3,000 newborns since Aug 25 last year’
Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan
Rohingya camps burdened with births, marriages

Nearly 3,000 Rohingya babies were born in the settlements since the latest exodus began on August 25, last year, and thousands more are waiting to arrive, according to multiple sources in the government as well as the international organisations and NGOs.

During this period, 50-60 Rohingyas, including children, have died and many of them had diphtheria, they said. And, they added, marriages, including many child marriages, have taken place and still are taking place statistics of which is not available.

“Well, you know birth rate among Rohingyas is usually bit high due to many socioeconomic issues. As per our statistics, more than 2,500 babies were born since the latest influx,” Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Mohammed Shah Kamal told The Independent.

“And, we are expecting thousands of babies in coming days,” he said, adding, “I’m sure you will understand that given the situation, it’s difficult to have an exact figure.”

“On the part of the government, we are doing our best to look after the pregnant women, newborns and their mothers,” said the secretary. But, different sources have said that the number of newborns in the Rohingya settlements has already crossed 3,000.

Quoting Save the Children, they said that more than 48,000 babies will be born in 2018 at a daily average of 130 newborns.

About deaths in the settlements, there are different accounts from different sources due to apparent absence of a central mechanism. “I would say about 50-60 Rohingyas have died so far. Of them, 31 died of diphtheria and most of them are children. There have been some accidental deaths as well as normal deaths,” said Abul Kalam, chief of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC)

based in Cox’s Bazar. “Every death is regrettable. Having said that, I would say the number of deaths under the circumstances where lakhs of people arrived in no time is negligible. The number of deaths remain low due to our efficient management,” he said.

Couple of officials working for international organisations agreed with the RRRC chief, saying that there are many countries in the world with lesser people than nearly 10 lakh (1 million) Rohingyas  living in several thousand acres of land.

In relations to the marriages, the sources said that marriages have taken place and are taking place without any documentation and there is no system in place to keep any data of the matrimonies.

And, they said, the number of child marriages is quite worrisome and there are very little efforts by some international organisations and NGOs to stop those.

 

 

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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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