Medical doctors volunteer to help Myanmar refugees

20 October 2017
International Volunteer Day 2017
Around 400,000 Muslims from Rakhine state, Myanmar, have fled across the border to Bangladesh. Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers are supporting to address the needs of the displaced population.
Rohingyas in Bangladesh (2017).
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh (2017).
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A Bangladesh Red Crescent mobile medical team has been set up in Bangladesh, and it is run by volunteer Dr. Mohsin Ahmed. He explains that food, water and shelter are the main concern of the people he is seeing, most of whom are women and children.

Even though we are concentrating on their health, they are also asking for shelter and food. They suffer from fever, diarrhea, bronchial and respiratory infections, as well as malnutrition. They also show signs of psychological trauma,” says Mohsin Ahmed.

High numbers of pregnant women and newborns have prompted Dr. Mohsin to look for a midwife to join the team, which sees more than 200 people every day. He also plans to add emergency contraception to the medical stocks, since the risk of sexual violence in the camps is high.

Aside from distributing water, food, hygiene kits and shelter materials, volunteers are also building toilets. Additionally, the Red Cross plans to increase the medical response with additional mobile medical teams and possibly a field hospital to scale up emergency water and sanitation interventions. The dire situation on the ground means the risk of disease outbreaks is high.

By Corinne Ambler

This story is published as part of the campaign for International Volunteer Day 2017: Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.

Asia and the Pacific