In partnership with IOM, Doctors Worldwide has been working on the ground in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh to respond to the Rohingya Crisis through health system strengthening and training programmes. To date, over 900,000 patient consultations have benefitted and many more daily.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the DICE (Doctors Worldwide Improving Care in Health Emergencies) programme is more crucial than ever in working to develop a system of emergency care in Bangladesh. The DICE programme consists of 42 teaching sessions including a Scientific Day spanning over 9 months focusing on emergency and acute care medical topics.
Those living in refugee camps are some of the most vulnerable individuals, who are now faced with another risk to their health and wellbeing: the possibility of contracting COVID-19. The pandemic has also been a challenge for the DICE Programme, with restricted ability to undertake face-to-face work and training. For a temporary period of time, the training element of the project moved online, undertaking weekly Zoom sessions for medical doctors, nurses and medical assistants. So far, topics including trauma support, acute cardiac presentations, acute neurological presentations, management of burns, and much more have been covered.
Now, with travel restrictions lifted, our team of global experts including Emergency Medicine nurses, Primary Care doctors and an Emergency Medicine specialist will be on the ground from September to December 2020. We will continue our skill-based training and focus on quality improvement in primary care clinics and health posts. In addition, our Field Coordinator and Project Manager will also visit Cox’s Bazar to continue with field-project related activities and work with our partner, IOM.
Discussing the DICE programme in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Project Manager and Training Programme Director both stressed the importance of flexibility in their approach to the project’s development, saying:
“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has been very important for NGOs to remain flexible while also maintaining their ongoing services in the field. Emergency care goes hand-in-hand with COVID-19 and our training sessions support healthcare workers while contextually incorporating the healthcare educational needs of our participants. The DICE programme is versatile and can adapt to the ongoing needs of frontline healthcare providers such as COVID-19.”Georgia Venner, Project Manager
“It is now a crucial time in terms of mapping out the remaining months of DICE. Maintaining flexibility is crucial to ensure participants benefit as best as possible with existing limitations.”Dr. Mir Ahmed, Training Programme Director
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