Just last month the Washington Post reported that cases of malnutrition amongst Rohingya Muslims in many Burmese Refugee camps were, sadly on the rise Many citizens who have been forced to flee are having to live on the most scant and meagre rations imaginable – for some families bags of rice, chick peas and the occasional piece of fish were all they had to sustain them.
It is no surprise therefore, to learn that vitamin deficiencies are on the increase, with aid workers reporting a sharp increase in the numbers of children presenting with malnutrition. It’s estimated that between March and June cases doubled and this has been put down to the fact that many people have suffered worse than ever interruptions to supplies of food, clean drinking water and other necessary supplies.
In people who are already suffering from a multitude of other health concerns, vitamin deficiencies are yet another problem to deal with and at the present time it is not yet known how these issues can be dealt with quickly.
Some residents of the camps have tried to make the best of their lot, by setting up makeshift homes near rivers so they can supplement their other rations with a little fresh fish – however, this is in limited supply and is not immediately accessible to everyone. Fresh fish is one of the best sources of Vitamin D and can go a long way to help refugees who are suffering with their health. Some people have also taken to trying to plant donated seeds, in order to try and grow their own food while they are held. Whilst again, this is a good way forward, the food will not be immediately available and they must wait for plants to grow in order to harvest.
It’s clear that this situation is one that will not be easily resolved in the foreseeable future, for now, all many can do is watch and wait.