In a refugee camp in Hpruso Township, about half of the population is sick

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CJ (Kantarawaddy Times)

A volunteer nurse says that at the Sothei refugee camp in southern Hpruso Township, half of the 1,700 displaced people living there are sick due to the onset of cold season, and about 300 people are seriously ill.

“Children have runny noses, coughs, fevers, and some of them are even unconscious. Adults also have runny noses, coughs, aches and pains all over their bodies, fevers, and are sick generally,” said the nurse.

Most of the symptoms are similar to those of the flu, including sudden fever, nausea, and weakness in children. In addition there are many cases of skin disease, ulcers, and chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and joint pain. The nurse added that stomach diseases are also occurring.

A resident said that because they live in the jungle, the refugees often get sick due to exposure to the elements, and there are not enough medicines to treat illnesses.

“My son has chills, aches all over, and a headache. He also has a bad cough and feels nauseous. He has been sick since early in the morning before dawn. He hasn’t gotten better tonight. He hasn’t been given any medicine. There is no treatment. This has happened every month, or three times in two months. He is sick all the time,” explained a mother who fled the fighting.

The Sothei refugee camp is located far from a hospital, and there are difficulties in transporting emergency patients to the hospital for treatment.

“The difficulties for us here are that many patients are sick, there is not enough medicine, there are emergency patients, birth patients, there are no cars to take them to the hospital, there is no gasoline and diesel, and that is difficult,” a health volunteer said.

Currently, there are more than 6,000 people fleeing the war in Hpruso Township, and there are shortages of food, shelter materials, health care and medicines, and warm clothing for the season.

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