Advocate Campaigns Include Migrants & Refugees in Hepatitis C Elimination Plans

High Prevalence of HBV and HCV Among Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

In 2017, over 740,000 Rohingya people fled Rakhine state, Myanmar, and are currently hosted in temporary shelters in Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh. The influx of refugees into Bangladesh, current Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh estimated at 890,000, has outnumbered the local population more than three-fold, resulting in massive strain in the scarce resources available in the host country including health care.

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection carries long-term risk of cirrhosis and remains the main cause of the development of hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Little is known about the prevalence of HBV and HCV infections among the Rohingya refugees.

In 2017 and 2019, the National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh (NLFB), a philanthropic organization dedicated to preventing, treating and sharing knowledge on the best strategies to address liver diseases in Bangladesh, conducted an assessment to determine the burden of HBV and HCV among pregnant women and among the general population in the Rohingya refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh.

The study results are published in Clinical Liver Disease and can be accessed here.