Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to provide essential care to vulnerable groups in Bangladesh: undocumented refugees, young women, and people living in remote areas and urban slums.
Many of the undocumented Rohingya who fled violence and persecution in Myanmar have been living in makeshift camps close to the Bangladeshi border for decades, yet they continue to suffer from discrimination and healthcare exclusion. In the Kutupalong makeshift camp in Cox’s Bazar, MSF runs a clinic providing comprehensive basic and emergency healthcare to refugees and the host community, as well as inpatient and laboratory services and tuberculosis (TB) treatment. Some 80,000 outpatient and over 1,200 inpatient consultations were carried out during the year. More than 3,000 mental health consultations were undertaken. Approximately 6,000 women attended an initial antenatal consultation.
Poor living conditions in slums
In Kamrangirchar and Hazaribagh, teams visited factories and tanneries and conducted more than 4,450 outpatient consultations. MSF is looking for ways to increase access to healthcare for workers in these industries, many of whom work in hazardous conditions for long hours.
Teams also continued a sexual and reproductive health programme for adolescent girls aged 10 to 19 years. More than 7,700 consultations were carried out, 460 births assisted and 1,070 mental health consultations were conducted for social problems such as intimate partner violence. In addition, over 670 victims of sexual and domestic violence received medical care and short-term psychological assistance; almost 80 per cent of these attended further mental healthcare consultations.
MSF also monitored the vaccination status of children and administered more than 3,560 measles and 3,050 polio vaccines supplied by the health ministry.
MSF supported the health ministry’s response to a major outbreak of malaria in the remote area of Bandabaran, Chittagong Hill Tracts, in August 2014. Teams travelled in boats and hiked through forests to reach communities in need of medical assistance. More than 2,280 people received treatment during the three-month intervention.
Kala azar research
In Fulbaria, Mymensingh district, MSF continued researching a treatment for post-kala azar dermal leishmaniasis. Results are expected in late 2015.
No. staff in 2014: 324 | Expenditure: €3.1 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1985 | msf.org/bangladesh