The number of forcibly displaced people labeled as refugees across the world has grown rapidly in the past few decades. In Myanmar, the Rohingya have been fleeing en masse from their homes since August 25, 2017. To date, more than 1.2 million Rohingya refugees have settled in designated refugee camps and expansion sites located in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.
In 2018, MedGlobal partnered with international non-governmental organization, OBAT Helpers USA, to support a primary health post in Camp 4, Modhuchara region of Kutupalong that is operated by local non-governmental organization, Prantic Unnayan Society. The health post serves Rohingya refugees from Camp 4 (population: 31,044), with some patients from surrounding camps. The health post is staffed by a team of permanent Bangladeshi staff, plus volunteers from the Rohingya community.
The services provided at the health post include: general health, NCD care, infectious disease (ID) care, sexual and reproductive care, mental health care, nutrition, and dental. To date, the health post has provided 189,000 consultations for Rohingya refugees including medications, laboratory tests, and referrals for specialized care. MedGlobal has also implemented various health projects in Cox’s Bazar town that benefitted underserved Bangladeshi people.
Exploring the health needs of Rohingya refugees in this camp setting will help national and international organizations to deliver key services in a more organized and efficient way. Topics of particular interest include the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including hypertension (HTN), diabetes mellitus (DM), health needs of pregnant women, family planning needs, and distribution of Health Cluster diagnoses and co-morbidities.
Improved data collection is needed at the health post to monitor patient demographics, services provided, and patient outcomes. This data will allow us to improve the health post services by identifying the most pressing health needs.