New Delhi (Sputnik) — Some 48000 women in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are pregnant and are due to deliver babies in the coming days, according to an independent estimate. In addition to increasing the number of refugees in the already overcrowded camps, the conditions in which the women would have to deliver is a cause of grave concern. Aid agencies say that the refugee camps are filthy and lack basic amenities like clean drinking water and toilets. This would undeniably leave the mothers and their babies vulnerable to deadly infections.
"If born in such squalid tents, the babies will be at increased risk of disease and malnutrition, and of dying before age 5," their report noted.
"The camps have poor sanitation and are a breeding ground for diseases like diphtheria, measles, and cholera, to which new-born babies are particularly vulnerable," Rachael Cummings of Save the Children told media while releasing the report.
An estimated six hundred thousand refugees are living in the refugee camps in the Bangladeshi side of the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, mostly in the Cox's Bazar region since August last year when fresh strife erupted between the Myanmar military and the Muslim Rohingya community.
"The situation in the camps is enormously serious and the health conditions of the expecting mothers and the living area cannot be termed even remotely fit for the birth of a child. The Bangladesh administration is trying its best to ensure that at least some women can be transferred to a medical post, or ensure hygiene in the place they live to make it somewhat fit for the delivery of an infant," Farah Kabir, civil rights activist and Bangladesh head of the aid agency Action Aid International told Sputnik.
The situation urgently calls for aid and the attention of international authorities and forums to help these would be mothers and children survive, she added.