Skin Infections on the Rise Among Children and Adults at Thai-Karenni Border IDP Camp

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By Kantarawaddy Times. 

23 Feb 2024. 

At an IDP camp located along the Thai-Karenni border, nearly 200 people, including children and adults, are suffering from skin diseases, according to a health worker at the camp’s clinic.

A health care provider at the camp’s clinic said that as the summer season approaches, water scarcity has become a prevalent issue, leading to poor personal hygiene and the use of low-quality water, which has contributed to the surge in skin diseases.

“Lately, the increasing cases are skin disease. Skin diseases are on the rise. I don’t know if it’s because of water or not. If it’s because of water, it could be because of the lack of water and there’s a water shortage here. Now, if we go to fetch water, the water that comes is not clean and filled with mud. So, I don’t know if it is because of the water or some other factor. But lately, the most common cases have been skin diseases,” he said.

Skin diseases have become a prevalent issue, particularly among children under the age of 10 said the father of a six-month-old child suffering from a skin disease. 

“His child has been suffering from a skin disease for over a month already. Initially, it started as a rash in his groin area. Gradually, it spread to other parts of his body, with his back being particularly affected. Even when the rashes disappear from his back, they reappear elsewhere. Now, they’ve shown up on his legs. We’ve given him injections and applied creams, but nothing seems to be working. We’ve taken him to the clinic several times. Six injections had been given and there was a slight improvement. But now, the rashes have returned, and this time they’re on his face,” added the father.

The symptoms of the skin disease include reddish spots and watery blisters, appearing between the fingers, thighs, toes, groin area, and other areas of soft skin said a clinic staff who are in charge. 

“Sometimes, the infection occurs on the arms and legs. In other cases, it affects the spaces between the fingers and toes. The sensitive skin areas between the thighs are commonly affected including belly. Some people got infected on their head too. The infection tends to be more severe in these areas of soft skin” added a health care provider who is taking in charge of the clinic. 

The skin infection has persisted at the IDP camp for over a month. Despite receiving medical treatments like injections, ointments, and medications, the patients have not experienced complete recovery. The infection’s spread is believed to be accelerated by the lack of clean water, poor sanitation, and physical contact among the IDPs.

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