Moments after the health post’s doors opened for the very first time on Thursday, December 2, 2021, eight-year-old Omme came in with her father Abul. She was suffering from abdominal pain and fever. The doctor on duty saw Omme immediately and provided care. “Everyone is helpful here,” remarked Abul. “The doctor listened carefully and gave my daughter medicine. I am happy.”
For Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, Bangladesh, cholera is an ever-present threat. The cramped and crowded conditions, limited access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, and seasonal flooding create an environment in which cholera can quickly take hold. Rohingya volunteers supported by Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner Green Hill are assisting a cholera vaccination campaign that has successfully reached 96% of refugees in their catchment areas since October 10.
In late August, Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner Green Hill broke ground on a new health post in Camp 1W of Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Scheduled to open by the end of October, the health post will offer free primary health care services to Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities in the surrounding area.
Living in crowded and cramped conditions, Rohingya refugees sheltering in Bangladesh are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. On August 10, 2021, amid a worrying spike in infections, the Government of Bangladesh launched the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for refugees over 55 years of age in Kutupalong Refugee Camp. As the first line of health care, volunteers supported by Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner Green Hill mobilized to encourage and support eligible community members in Camps 1W and 4 to take up the vaccine.
Since late July, heavy rains in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, have caused widespread flooding and landslides, damaging shelters and facilities, and displacing and affecting thousands of people. Rohingya volunteers supported by Community Partners International have been at the forefront of efforts to help those affected.
"I feel that I am doing an important job for my community. No matter how hard it is, somebody has to do it. In this case, it’s me." Tofayel, Rohingya health volunteer
As Bangladesh experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases, there is rising concern for the 700,000+ Rohingya refugees from Myanmar sheltering in Kutupalong Camp, Cox’s Bazar District. Cramped living conditions and limited access to health services make them especially vulnerable. Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner Green Hill are supporting Rohingya volunteers to trace contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases and help to contain the spread of the virus within the refugee community.
In the Bangladeshi community of Doria Nagar, Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh, families survive on daily wage labor incomes of just US$2-3 per day. Each month, as much as 20% of their income is spent on fuel for cooking - either firewood or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). In late June, Community Partners International (CPI) and Green Hill installed a biogas plant in the community as a pilot project to convert kitchen and latrine waste into free methane gas for cooking.
When seven-year-old Samiyun first started to attend the Chakar Mobile School, he struggled to adapt. Growing up in Dhaka’s slums, he had never had the opportunity to enroll in formal school. Instead, while his parents were out at work, he spent his days running the streets of his neighborhood with older children. His mother, a garment worker, and his father, a day laborer, work long hours with few days off. As they struggle to put food on the table, they don't have much time to devote to Samiyun and his younger sister.
“This partnership improves the hospital’s ability to provide comprehensive emergency care for vulnerable patients.” Dr. Md. Mahbubur Rahman, Cox's Bazar Civil Surgeon
As Bangladesh and South Asia experience spikes in COVID-19 cases, Community Partners International (CPI) and Green Hill have mobilized to help Sadar Hospital in Cox’s Bazar cope with a rise in patients needing care.
"I didn’t understand what a vaccine was. I just heard that they can leave permanent marks on the skin and cause fever." Tasmin, 24, pregnant mother of two children
Tasmin’s perception of vaccines is fairly common among her fellow Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong, Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee camp. With limited access to accurate health information, misunderstandings and false rumors can travel rapidly within the community.