Reflections on the multi-sectoral response to COVID-19 in Bangladesh's Rohingya refugee camps

George Palattiyil*, Tariqul Islam Limon , Fahad Jubayer, Habibur Rahman, Irin Sultana , Mesbha Uddin Ahmed, Dina Sidhva, Harish Nair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact people globally, refugees comprise a vulnerable population, particularly those living in densely populated areas. In Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar is currently home to almost a million Rohingya refugees. Because of the lack of healthcare, sanitation and water, as well as overcrowding, refugees were at high risk of becoming ill during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Moreover, superstitions and lack of trust in the healthcare system threaten to put the community at further risk. To prevent tragic consequences, national and international attention and action are required to strengthen the health system for Rohingya refugees. The community will require surveillance and testing, infection prevention and control measures, adequate food supplies, and access to improved healthcare services. This paper calls for a multi-sectoral approach to developing an action plan and implementation strategy to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on this vulnerable population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-397
JournalAsian and Pacific Migration Journal
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • COVID-19
  • Rohingya refugees
  • collaboration
  • multi-sectoral response
  • humanitarian aid
  • Bangladesh


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