Malnourished Rohingya boat arrivals receive medical treatment in Sik

14-Apr-2018 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Fifty-six Rohingya refugees who travelled for 23 days by sea from Rakhine, Myanmar received emergency and medical assistance from the Malaysian Relief Agency (MRA) in Sik, Kedah today.

Arriving in Langkawi in a wooden boat recently, the refugees were mostly weak, malnourished and some had infections.

The group’s boat had been intercepted by maritime authorities on April 3. They are currently being temporarily housed at the Belantik Immigration Depot.

MRA’s secretary general, Dr Shahrisal Azwan Samsudin, said that a team of 16 volunteers, including four medical doctors, four nurses and a Rohingya interpreter from the Kedah and Penang MRA visited the depot to provide immediate medical assistance.

“The MRA team found that the 36 adults and 20 children were in a state of malnutrition, fatigue, dehydration and had contracted respiratory tract infection. Other than that, skin infections such as scabies, fungal infections and severe hair loss due to lack of hygiene care were also detected during checks,” chair of the Kedah MRA Dr Mohd Saifullah Al Hany Bin Abd Halim said in a statement this morning.

The poor health of the refugees is largely attributed to the more than three weeks they spent at sea, exposed to extreme weather.

“MRA conducted health screenings on each of them and provided medicines and vaccinations to prevent (further) infections. (We have) also given the adults sufficient multivitamins and the children, nutritional milk powder,” Dr Shahrisal said.

He added that apart from medical aid, the team also donated other basic items such as sanitary napkins and dry food, which were jointly contributed by the MRA and NGOs such as Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (Mapim), Salimah Kebangsaan Malaysia and BLESS.


Category: Malaysia

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