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[Bangladesh] 2 years since the Rohingya refugee crisis- Maternal health

2019.10.11

In November 2018 and August 2019 the Rogingya refugees in Bangladesh were scheduled to return to Myanmar in a plan organized by the 2 governments of the respective countries. However, due to issues regarding nationality and the distrust of the the Myanmar government in guaranteeing safety for the refugees, the plan did not come into fruition.

In this uncertain situation, the Joint Response Plan 2019 was created in order to shift the focus from emergency supplies to a more long term development based project since this situation is in danger of continuing.

Maternal Health Services provided in the camp

Therefore, PWJ has expanded it’s services to not only providing Primary Health Care serivces. and free medicines but also to raise awareness on various health related issues. Right now, in various places inside as well as in host communities outside the camp, health services such as prenatal and postnatal screening, family planning, and growth monitoring are being provided while raising awareness on topics such as nutrition, anti-natal and post-natal care, family panning services and health checkups.

Prenatal screening and post natal care at the Primary Health Center

In order to ensure a safe childbirth, regular prenatal screenings must be conducted to check on the health of both the mother and the unborn child. However, at the refugee camp where PWJ’s Primary Health Center (PHC) is located in, in 2018, only 15.1% of mothers received prenatal screening more than 4 times during their pregnancy. Further, a childbirth must happen in a sterile and safe environment assisted by trained medical professionals. In the refugee camp, over 70% of childbirths happen on the floor of the temporary shelters made out of bamboos and tapoline sheet

Raising awareness within the refugee camp

Raising awareness and changing people’s mindset will take a great deal of time and effort. However, informing people about prenatal screenings and deliveries at sterile medical facilities will protect the lives of mothers and their children. We must not let them lose their precious lives. PWJ will keep working together with our local partner to protect the Rohingya as well as the local women and children.

We thank you for all the support we have received for this project.