An estimated 750,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh following the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on 25 August 2017. Novartis has extended hands to address the health care challenges for the Rohingya refugees residing in Cox’ Bazar and nearby area.
With the help of Novartis, the Swiss Red Cross and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society have built three primary health centres in the camps at Ukhia Upazila in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Each primary health centre provides basic health services to a catchment area of about 20.000 people. The centres provide free-of-cost consultations to both the refugees from Rakhine State and the local population in Ukhia. The facilities are open on a 24/7 basis every day of the week.
Around 150 to 200 patients are treated daily in each of the centres. Since the establishment of the first centre in March, over 35.000 people received health care through the centres (until August 2018). Many patients suffer from fever, acute watery diarrhoea, respiratory tract infection, digestive disorder and skin diseases. The centres offer a variety of health services including general health, medical check-ups, vaccination, maternal new-born and child health (MNCH) services, family planning, normal deliveries, hygiene and protection, psycho-social support as well as nutritional screenings and treatments of malnourished children, women and men.