Our Role in Bangladesh
The Rohingya people have been subjected to a heartbreaking campaign of violence and displacement, fleeing from their homes in Rakhine State, Myanmar. The majority are hosted by Bangladesh in the Cox’s Bazar region, situated in refugee camps and host communities where over 1 million people are currently in need of ongoing support including basic necessities such as sanitation, food, water, protection, and healthcare. Decades of being denied access to basic human rights in Myanmar, such as quality healthcare has lead to an inherent lack in health literacy within the Rohingya population. As a result, the ongoing medical response in the camps and host communities require support in halting the spread of communicable diseases, managing non-communicable diseases, mental health treatment, and access to sexual and reproductive health services. In addition, the majority of the local front-line healthcare workforce have not faced a humanitarian crises of this magnitude before. At Doctors Worldwide we have always held a firm belief in the importance of training and enabling the local health workforce and local communities to be better equipped at responding to humanitarian emergencies.
Our Postgraduate Fellowship (PGF) was developed to work alongside local organisations to strengthen the medical knowledge and practice of the healthcare facilities available to the Rohingya by training local Bangladeshi doctors who make up the majority of the physicians in the camps. You can read more about our PGF project here.
Cohort B – November 2018 to March 2019
The goal of this Cohort was consistent with our overall response in Bangladesh: to support local communities by improving and strengthening the delivery of local healthcare by national practitioners in a humanitarian crisis setting.
For Cohort B, we recruited 24 Bangladeshi doctors of mixed gender, religion, age and experience who were representing 12 different local, international and government organisations.The PGF is centered around 7 independent humanitarian modules that have been developed by over 40 physicians with experience in humanitarian action and public health from around the world, including emergency medicine, mental health, palliative care, and professional practice.
Contextual issues faced with healthcare knowledge, centering around humanitarian medicine, had been previously identified by our team through comprehensive needs assessments before the PGF began. This became the foundation of the PGF modules. We are continually building upon and improving our teaching to match current contextual needs for our participants, such as the need for an increased level of understanding regarding the aftercare for victims of sexual violence.
By the end of Cohort B’s time in Bangladesh, we had fully trained 20 local doctors working in the camps and host communities. They also received additional qualifications in the following:
- 22 Emergency Treatment Assessment and Training certificates;
- 23 MISP for Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations certificates;
- 23 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine qualifications, and;
- 20 Basic Life Support certificates.
This Cohort was hugely successful, and we received excellent feedback from our participants and medical faculty deployed. You can see what they have to say about the PGF themselves here.
Our Achievements to date
Since the start of the PGF Programme in July 2018, we have delivered 69 teaching sessions and 207 hours of classroom-based teaching for Cohort A and B. Alongside this, we provided a total of 576 hours of clinical shadowing within the Rohingya refugee camps and host communities.
At the end of both cohorts there were 44 Bangladeshi doctors that had been trained by us, and as a result of your support and donations. Starting in June 2019, another 60 prospective candidates will be participating in the PGF with the support of the UN-IOM.
Our PGF has a huge range of beneficiaries, directly providing support to the local healthcare workers operating within the Rohingya camps and host communities of Cox’s Bazar.
The healthcare knowledge challenges that local Bangladeshi doctors face in the camps were met by the PGF directly. This was by providing holistic training through various learning techniques, improved patient care and assessment by the participants trained, allowing the sharing of knowledge between participants and our expert faculty, and encouraging them to become long terms leaders in the clinics they serve to identify health needs wherever they arise.
Through this project, and through the tireless efforts of the participants/Bangladeshi doctors and our team, over 4,400 Rohingya refugees now have access to better quality healthcare every day.
This project cannot be done without your support. Your generous donations are what enable us to serve these communities, people who have suffered through unimaginable horrors and rely solely on the kindness of others for shelter, food and quality medical care. Together, we’re helping them take the reigns of their own future by providing them with the human right of quality healthcare.