Having fled unimaginable violence and persecution in their homeland of Myanmar in August 2017, nearly one million Rohingya refugees are now living in terrible conditions Cox’s Bazar, ‘the world’s largest refugee camp’ (UN). Over half of the refugees are children. In Myanmar, entire villages were burned to the ground, families were separated and killed, and women and girls were gang raped. Most of the people who escaped were severely traumatized after witnessing unspeakable atrocities.
Families arrived at the camp with little to nothing, and rely entirely on aid to survive. They are living in makeshift shelters, and illness and malnutrition are rife, especially among children.
“I have no doubt that the Rohingya people have always been one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world, without any recognition of the most basic rights starting by the recognition of the right of citizenship by their own country – Myanmar.”
Secretary-General António Guterres, on his visit to Cox’s Bazar, July 2018
Physicians Across Continents are on the ground in Cox-Bazar, Bangladesh, bringing medical relief to the Rohingya refugees. Among the refugees are large numbers of women, children and the elderly.
Currently treating refugees for malnutrition, dehydration, infections as well as providing surgical care in plastic surgery for those who have suffered injury, obstetric and gynaecological care for pregnant women, as well as women and young girls who were the victims of rape, ophthalmology and orthopaedic surgery.
The work that needs to be carried out is inordinate as the influx of refugees is not slowing down and the number of refugees in Cox-Bazar is already nearly 1 million.
The healthcare system in Bangladesh is still in the development stages, thus leaving many Bangladeshi’s without access to competent healthcare provisions.
The majority of the clients buy medicines without prescription and…self-referral is…common, especially in urban areas. Because of financial difficulties, poor people go directly to a pharmacy or drug vendor without consulting a doctor. Bangladesh has a tradition of self-medication.
In the absence of health insurance, cancer treatments are a great financial challenge to the affected individuals and their families. Patients often cannot complete the course of treatment due to unaffordable costs … Even with the government hospitals providing free cancer treatment for the poor and medicines free of cost to at least 50% of the patients, many cancer patients are still unable to pay for all the expenses.
A lack of hygiene and disrespect for standard disinfection procedures as being issues in public sector facilities.
Maternal mortality in Bangladesh impacts inequities in access to primary health services with a huge gap between women in advantaged and disadvantaged socioeconomic communities. ‘Despite an increase in demand for maternal healthcare, limited supply and difficulties in access during pregnancy and delivery still leave a large number of women at high risk for preventable death.
Support our delegations which go out periodically to deliver surgical operations for the refugees. Whether you’re a medical professional looking to support us in the field or want to contribute towards us delivering future delegations your time and donations go a long way towards improving health outcomes in the camps.
Obstetric fistula is a medical condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal as a result of childbirth or rape. This can be between the vagina and rectum, ureter, or bladder. It can result in incontinence of urine or faces. Complications may include depression, infertility, and social isolation.
Figures from Bangladesh shows that approximately 876,000 women suffer from chronic morbidity such as vaginal fistula, recto-vaginal fistula and related physical and social disabilities. The highest incidence of chronic disease cases was recorded in Chittagong Province.
Based on a prevalence of maternal morbidity study, national estimates show that more than 400,000 women live in Bangladesh with vaginal fistula. The national estimate also shows that more than 1.22 million women have urinary incontinence. More than 16,000 women have rectovaginal fistula.