Additional workforce added to Cox’s Bazar hospital to strengthen Rohingya refugee response

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 21 June 2018: To strengthen health services for Rohingya refugees and their host communities in Cox’s Bazar, additional health workforce has been added to the district hospital here, the only facility providing referral services to nearly 1.3 million vulnerable population at increased risk of diseases in the ongoing rainy season.

“The additional staff will help augment service delivery at the hospital as we seek to enhance capacities to treat acute watery diarrhoea cases, in addition to trauma and obstetric care,” said Dr Bardan Jung Rana, WHO Representative to Bangladesh.

With funding from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), 86 additional staff including 25 medical officers and 40 nurses, have been hired by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the Sadar district hospital.

In March this year KSrelief provided a US$ 2 million grant to WHO to upgrade the 250-bed hospital which has been handling 400 to 600 in-patients every day, much beyond its capacity, since the start of the massive Rohingya refugee influx last year.

“One of our greatest concerns has been inadequate human resources in the hospital. The additional staff will help strengthen services for both Rohingya population and the host community,” Dr. Pu Chaw Nu, Superintendent, Sadar Hospital, said.

The grant is also being used for medical equipment, medicines, supplies, potable water, as well as for providing food to in-patients.

WHO is also supporting setting up of an additional operation theatre in the hospital, with the KSrelief grant.

WHO continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to meet the health needs of the Rohingya refugees, by leading and coordinating efforts of over 100 partners managing more than 270 health facilities in Rohingya camps; while also providing medicines and medical equipment, diagnostics, guidelines and building capacities of the health workforce.

For the ongoing rainy season, WHO has coordinated a contingency plan with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other health sector partners to ensure life-saving health services are maintained throughout. WHO has stockpiled medicines and medical supplies, has trained health workers and established a laboratory at the district hospital to be able to rapidly detect and respond to any disease outbreak during the monsoons.

The Rohingya refugees, living in crowded camps with suboptimal water and sanitation conditions, are at increased risk of water and vector borne diseases. Heavy rains have already begun in lash Cox’s Bazar, causing landslides and floods, and damaging shelters.

WHO Bangladesh/ C. Bercaru

Media contact:

Catalin-Constantin Bercaru, WHO Bangladesh
Phone: +88 01787693318

Shamila Sharma, WHO South-East Asia Regional Office
Phone: +91 9818287256

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