In a campaign that clearly shows concern at the highest levels of Bangladesh government in view of rising population of Rohingya refugees, the government has decided to launch a birth control campaign among the refugee Muslims. This is amid fears that the refugee population could rise sharply with the influx of the ethnic minority Myanmar nationals, a minister said. Plans are being chalked up to motivate the Rohingyas to keep their family size small alongside providing them with kits containing birth control pills and other contraceptives also to prevent outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), officials said.
“We have so far mobilised six medical teams to create awareness among Rohingyas about sexually transmitted diseases and birth control methods,” Bangladesh’s Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim said. Officials and experts said the initiative is crucial as the reproduction rate among the backward Rohingyas is high while they lacked ideas of birth control systems.
Their comments came as United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said midwives they deployed at makeshift Rohingya camps in southeastern Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar delivered at least 200 babies since the recent influx of refugees began on August 25.