by Brad Stewart and Andrew Strunk
Today has been a huge day, but we feel like we’ve made significant progress. In the morning we registered with the Police, Government Health and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) before beginning the journey south to Teknaf and Unchiprang refugee camps. There is large scale suffering there, with people living in mud and unthinkable squalor, punctuated by occasional overhead shooting from Burma (across the river), just to keep them scared.
Again, we came across Muslim Aid- a volunteer health service struggling to help- and tried to connect them with. We treated some of the sicker kids for malnourishment (which we had prepared for), however it soon became apparent the were some things we’d be needing- antifungal cream, for example.
The journey south today proved that the Teknaf peninsula isn’t as hostile as was perceived and the police checkpoints were no problem. Our guides and local contacts have gone from insisting on ‘touring around all the refugee camps’ to understanding and supporting the DRG way of doing things.
Overall the conditions are heartbreaking at best, but we are trying every way we know how to ease the suffering of these beautiful people.