Life-saving essential medicines, supplies on the ground at District Hospital, Cox’s Bazar
Life-saving essential medicines and medical supplies have arrived at Sadar District Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh to support the urgent health needs of more than half a million people who have poured across the border since August.
Truckloads of medicines were loaded onto pushcarts and in the back of pick-ups to be deposited at a storehouse the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare allocated to WHO at the tertiary facility. The 1.1 ton of medicines and supplies augments a series of local procurements WHO made in September to meet pressing health needs, from diarrheal disease to wound infection and trauma.
Further supplies are on their way, including 25 Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kits (basic), from WHO warehouses at the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai, while 900 000 doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine have been released by the Inter-Agency Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision (ICG).
The latest batch of medicines and supplies will replenish stock at mobile and fixed facilities across the settlements, helping to fill critical gaps, protect health and save life. As the first responder and provider of last resort, WHO is committed to meeting immediate and ongoing needs.
The first delivery arrived on Durga Puja, a national holiday. Labor was in short supply. To release the stock to waiting medical teams and free-up the loading dock, WHO drivers pitched in. Shirts were soaked. Muscles ached. Medicine was deployed. The loading dock was cleared.
WHO’s 1400 Sq Ft storehouse is on the hospital’s third floor, through a labyrinth of corridors and up flights of stairs. To get the job done as rapidly as possible, a human chain was formed. From pushcart to pallet, the chain linked 17 times, taking around one minute for a stack of two cartons to be lodged into place.
Surgery kits on the way will ensure the hospital can continue to provide specialist services. Orthopedic surgery and treatment for wound infection, including suturing, have been identified as crucial needs.
Supplies are being sent from the WHO storehouse to shore-up stock at strategic locations. Prepositioning ensures a rapid response if and when a disease outbreak occurs.
Supporting health services delivery is core to WHO’s emergency response in Cox’s Bazar. Though needs are immense, WHO is working with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and partner agencies to meet them.