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Supporting information requirements of new Rohingya refugees

© UNICEF Bangladesh/2017/Sonnet
UNICEF regional director Jean Gough (third from right) visited the Information and Feedback centre recently at Balukhali camp, Cox’s Bazar to observe its activities.

By Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury

Cox's Bazar, September 25, 2017: Newly arrived Rohingyas started to come in their ones and twos as soon as UNICEF launched its Information and Feedback Centre in Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar on September 24 to provide vital Information support for them mainly on available service provisions.

Visiting the centre, Hamida (24) complained of maltreatment while distribution of relief materials by various organisations and problems of accessing health services due to overcrowding in the health clinics. She was advised by centre staff to visit an alternative health service provider and her complaints of misbehavour during relief distribution was also noted down for remedial measures.

Nur Ayesha (55) said she was suffering from fever and severe cough for past one week. “I am very sick. But I have no idea where to go for treatment and medicine,” said the middle-aged Rogingya woman who came to the camp 10 days back with her two daughters. The staff of the centre readily guided her where she would get the best available treatment and medicine.  

Meanwhile, Abu Bakar Siddique, another new entrant to the camp, came to complain that their tubewell water was stinking and in his family of eight members, three including himself have fallen sick with extreme headache, fever and cold by drinking water from that tubewell.

Information Services     

At present, a total of eight Information and Feedback centres have been established in various new camps and spontaneous settlements. The objectives of the centres are to provide information regarding available services in the catchment areas. Each centre will cater to the information needs of 2,500 families and provide people with related contact numbers of the service providers.

“People can also lodge complaints in the centres in connection to service quality and inaccessibility which the centre will record and pass on to the appropriate authorities for remedial action, said Gita Rani Das, Communication for Development (C4D) Officer, UNICEF Bangladesh. 

Moreover, these will also disseminate public announcements, key lifesaving information to the newly arrived Rohingyas on health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, newborn and maternal care and child health.

“These information are likely to become very useful, especially in the wake of possible disease outbreak, including cholera. Equipped with these information, they can take necessary preventive guard,” she added.  

The centres will also run multimedia sessions on these issues and distribute communication materials on key lifesaving issues. These will also hold demonstration sessions on key behaviours like proper techniques of hand washing.

These will function at centre level, door-to-door and at community level through 16 designated staff in eight centres.

Under the Community Information Services Project, these centres will also organise sensitization workshops with community and religious leaders to address and remove harmful social practices and negative social norms, it was learnt.



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