Skin Rash Affects Displaced Camps in Shardaw Township

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Residents of several displaced camps in Shardaw Township are experiencing itchy rashes, which are spreading quickly among people of all ages.

“My child has suffered from a skin disease since we arrived at this camp two months ago. He feels itchy and is scratching his body all the time, especially before he goes to bed at night,” a woman told Kantarawaddy Times.

Some of the children already had the condition before arriving at the camp, and it has since spread among the population who are hiding in the jungle.

A 50-year-old woman said she got it when she lived in her village and was able to obtain medicine to get rid of the ailment. However, now that she’s displaced, she has gotten it again. “I don’t know what is wrong with my skin.” 

A volunteer nurse said that poor personal hygiene is the main cause of the outbreak. The skin illness is also caused by touching insects and dried leaves.

“Some leaves also cause itchiness. If children touch the itchy leaves or insects, they’ll get bubbles appearing on their skin soon. If they scratch them, more will appear on the skin. If the children don’t cut their nails, an infection will spread on their skin.”

The nurse explained that they had enough medicine for two weeks but have since run out. Part of the problem, she said, is that they don’t have sufficient shelter to protect themselves from the rain. They have to decide whether to use the tarpaulin as a shelter or a mat to sleep on, she explained. If they sleep on the bare ground, they’ll get bitten by bugs. 

“After that, they feel itchy and then it spreads to other people. If a skin disease infects one person, it’s easy to spread in the camp within 1-2 days.”

The Kantarawaddy Times visited a camp of 100 huts and discovered that 40% of the population was affected.

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