Last year, we witnessed a humanitarian crisis of staggering scale caused by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state which forced over 536,000 Rohingya refugees to flee to Bangladesh. Of the half a million people seeking refuge in Cox’s Bazar, the vast majority consisted women (including pregnant and lactating women with new born babies) and families with children in very poor health conditions.
SAJIDA Foundation, with decades of expertise in development work, particularly in the health sector, responded immediately by visiting the site and conducting a needs assessment on the ground. With the support of national and international donors, SAJIDA set up a makeshift health camp in Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar by October 4, 2017 to extend emergency health services, focusing particularly on pregnant women, lactating mothers and children. SAJIDA mobilized a team of qualified doctors, paramedics and health workers – specially selected on their ability to communicate in the local dialect – to provide health services including medicine, consultations, emergency treatments and referrals for up to 200 patients a day.
As of December 15, 2017, our Community Health Workers, known as SAJIDA Bondhus, reached 63,091 people through household visits; while our health camp provided health services to 14,603 patients and conducted emergency referrals for 372 patients.
SAJIDA also created a child-friendly space for children equipped with toys, games, coloring books and other positively engaging activities to help children cope with trauma. SAJIDA’s health center is also equipped with a hospital bed and emergency resuscitation, oxygen inhalation and nebulization support. SAJIDA has also welcomed international doctors and social workers to provide trainings, workshops and health support at the health camp.
We are grateful to all those who stepped forward to support our humanitarian work for the Rohingya community in Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar.