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.


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Cite as

Palattiyil, G., Islam Limon, T., Jubayer, F., Rahman, H., Sultana, I., Uddin Ahmed, M., Sidhva, D. & Nair, H. 2023, 'Reflections on the multi-sectoral response to COVID-19 in Bangladesh's Rohingya refugee camps', Asian and Pacific Migration Journal. https://doi.org/10.1177/01171968231190331

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Last updated: 30 August 2023
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