Posted at 23:09 on 19 October, 2012 UTC
The Refugee Action Coalition has voiced shock at how quickly instances of attempted suicide and self-harm are occurring at the reopened offshore refugee processing centre on Nauru.
Australia has already sent more than 300 asylum seekers to Nauru.
The Refugee Action Coalition has received reports from asylum seekers on Nauru that conditions there are unbearable, contagious diseases are kicking in, and morale is low over reports that their claims won’t be heard for at least a year.
The Coalition’s Ian Rintoul says the medical and mental health services on Nauru are woefully inadequate
“There’s been both an epidemic of kind of an influenza type disease as they describe it -certainly two guards and one asylum seeker have been quarantined. There is an epidemic of some skin disease which they feel they’re not getting appropriate treatment for. It’s sweeping the camp and meanwhile, the Australian government is putting more asylum seekers into what is already a very overcrowded detention centre.”
Meanwhile, the Nauru Government says another six of the asylum seekers sent to the island by Australia have opted to return to their home countries.
They flew out of Nauru on Friday after the arrival of another group of asylum seekers from Christmas Island.
A total of nine have since left, deciding to return home rather than face what could be years on the isolated equatorial island.
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