Coronavirus Refugees, (Lack of access to health workers and equipment, food, sanitation in already devastated areas)
Refugee camps across Africa, the Middle East and Asia are packed with traumatized and undernourished people with limited access to healthcare and basic sanitation. Extended families are jammed into tarpaulin shelters with mud floors. Food, water and soap are often lacking. Illnesses, from hacking coughs to deadly diseases, go untreated, facilitating their spread. These factors combined have turned these safe havens into breeding grounds for contagion. A refugee camp in Bangladesh has become so bloated that its population density is nearly four times that of New York City, making social distancing impossible. Clinics in a refugee camp in Kenya struggle in normal times with only eight doctors for nearly 200,000 people.
Syria, Bangladesh, Kenya
HOW IS THIS ISSUE GROWING BECAUSE OF COVID-19?
Should the virus reach refugee camps and other places where people are already struggling to access health care, sanitation products or food, the impact will become even more devastating. Many camp clinics are already struggling to fight outbreaks such as dengue and cholera, leaving them without the resources they need to treat chronic health conditions. With no vaccine or agreed upon medical treatment regimen in place for COVID-19 or the respiratory disease that it causes, medical experts fear that the impact could be even more devastating.
WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS?
Refugees, refugee camp clinics and doctors, international health experts and aid workers
GROUPS WORKING ON THIS ISSUE
UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, Asia for CARE, UN Women