United Hospital Stands by Destitute Rohingya Refugees
A two-weeks long medical camp was conducted from 2 to 15 October at a designated spot at Shah Porir Dip at Teknaf, at the base of a cyclone shelter, where an eight member team from United Hospital took part comprising of Dr. Mahboob Rahman Khan, Dr Mohammad Arshadullah, Dr Shahnoor Kabir and Dr Md Abubakr Siddique along with members from hospital nursing team to attend to the desperate and destitute Rohingya refugees persecuted from neighboring country Myanmar. All pre-requisite planning and permission were obtained from local civil & defense administration at Teknaf with active cooperation from Bangladesh Army & local health authorities. Every day the medical camp attended to more than 150 patients starting from 9 am in the morning till evening. A fully equipped ambulance with sufficient supply of medicines including antibiotics, pain relievers, anti-diarrhoeal agents, antiseptics, tetanus injections, ophthalmic solutions and surgical dressing supply were made available to treat over 2000 refugees, free of cost, along with plastic water jars to help them for carrying & preserving safe drinking water. In addition, drinking water, biscuits and vitamins were also provided to them. Most of the refugees treated in the camp were women (60%), followed by children (30%) and men (10%). Their findings ranged from anaemia, fever, dehydration to diarrhoea and from throat infections to pneumonia. The physical wounds that many of them exhibited were appalling. Wound dressing, toileting & suturing were done for many in the camp and those who were critically ill, were referred to nearby healthcare centers for specialized treatment. The tent cover proved to be insufficient in managing the hot and humid weather for the doctors & nurses of the medical camp. The communication difficulty because of gap in understanding language, could be overcome with the help of enthusiastic local community volunteers. However, none of these problems felt like one, while listening to the stories of violence and horror that each of them had, with many of their male relatives brutally murdered and their homes set on fire. Serving in United Hospital relief team with medicines and other food & water supply for the worn-out & exhausted refugees, who had been walking for several days without proper meals & enough water, was a satisfying experience though the sickening plight of these homeless people will remain to be a haunting memory for a long time.