A Persecuted People in Search of Safety
At the end of August 2017, the Rohingya people – a minority group in Myanmar – experienced horrific violence. They watched as their family and friends were killed and villages burned. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees poured into neighboring Bangladesh in less than a month. They were forced to flee Myanmar after surviving massacres and witnessing their villages burned.
In a matter of days after the forced migration began, Medical Teams volunteer doctors and nurses deployed to Bangladesh. These volunteers, partnering with locals on the ground, set up emergency health facilities to treat everything from diarrhea to respiratory infections to gunshot wounds.
Delivering Urgent Medical Care to Rohingya Refugees
There are close to a million refugees living in Bangladesh. Though several years have passed since the initial influx in 2017, Rohingya refugees still face difficult circumstances in the refugee camp. They live in hastily-constructed tents on crowded, muddy hillsides. Clean water is scarce. Monsoon rains send dirty water rushing through the camp. Disease can – and does – spread quickly. This threat has never been more apparent than with the spread of COVID-19.
Your support has helped meet these overwhelming needs. We now run several health facilities in Kutupalong refugee camp – one of which is an isolation unit for COVID-19 patients.
The clinics – run almost entirely by local staff – are working to provide life-saving medical care to refugees. We focus on treating children for malnutrition, helping women safely deliver babies, and healing people with infectious diseases. We also refer patients to specialized clinics when they need more complex care.Rohingya Refugee Crisis FAQs
Empowering Refugees as Community Health Workers
To care for those who are unable to reach our health clinics, we’ve built a network of trained refugee volunteers. These Community Health Workers go tent-to-tent teaching about hygiene and nutrition. They explain to pregnant women how to keep themselves and their newborns healthy. They educate families about preventing infectious disease. Volunteers also provide basic psychological support to address mental and emotional trauma.
When COVID-19 began to spread, Community Health Workers shared messages about how to prevent infection. They also explained the symptoms and when to seek emergency care. Every day, they meet with families, making sure they know when and where to get life-saving help.
Caring for the Whole Person
Your support brings critical health care to Rohingya refugees. The Rohingya people have survived extreme suffering and loss. They experience physical, mental and emotional pain. To meet these needs, our team goes beyond medical care. We care about the whole person. Often that means sitting with mothers, fathers and grandparents through their emotional pain as we treat their physical pain. Offering comfort and compassion amid grief and loss.Volunteer Opportunities