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Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reports that they and other health organizations present in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in Southeastern Bangladesh have been trying to manage the outbreak of scabies.

Scabies mite/CDC

The number of scabies patients has surpassed MSF’s capacity to respond alone.   Witnessing a high upsurge of scabies cases, MSF scaled up its treatment for scabies since March 2022 and has since completed around 135,000 scabies-related consultations.

They say the sharp increase in scabies cases is directly linked to the living conditions in the camps, where people share small, cramped spaces and some have inadequate access to water to meet their daily needs.

“Once one person gets a highly contagious infection, it can quickly spread [and] reinfection becomes very likely. Eradicating scabies in the densely populated Rohingya refugee camps is a challenge. The disease has a significant impact on people’s quality of life in already arduous living conditions,” says Md. Kawsar, Medical Assistant Supervisor of MSF’s Jamtoli clinic.