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05/07/2015

Iraq Scabies outbreak in IDP camps

JEN has been working in one of the IDP camps in the Kurdish region, which accommodates approximately 13,000 individuals. In a crowded emergency situation, where people live close to each other, the likelihood of diseases developing and spreading quickly is high. Although each tent is allocated a private toilet facility in the Camp, which allows for greater privacy and better sanitation environment, some people engage in risky hygiene behaviors.

One of the major issues many IDP camps in Kurdistan are facing right now is the outbreak of scabies. Scabies is a contagious skin condition transmitted by small mites, causing rash and intense itchiness. Scabies commonly occur with lack of personal hygiene. Though it can be treated fairly simply with appropriate medicine, the disease can spread very quickly through skin contact with someone who has scabies or even sharing contaminated mattresses and blankets.  This makes the whole family vulnerable when one member of the family is infected.

In the Camp, there have been over 150 identified cases of scabies, for people ranging from ages 7 months to 60 years old. In order to quickly minimize the impact and spread of scabies, JEN is working in collaboration with the camp management, UNHCR and other agencies focusing on health, to provide hygiene kits, medicine and clean mattresses and blankets to families that are affected.

In addition, in order to ensure that people can properly protect themselves from scabies and other common diseases, JEN is preparing to launch hygiene promotion activities through volunteer groups in the camp.



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May 7, 2015 in Iraq |