MSF continued to provide essential care to vulnerable groups in Bangladesh: undocumented refugees, young women and people living in remote areas and urban slums.
Many of the Rohingya who have fled violence and persecution in Myanmar have been living in makeshift camps close to the Bangladeshi border for decades, yet they continue to suffer from discrimination and healthcare exclusion. Close to the Kutupalong makeshift camp in Cox’s Bazar, MSF runs a clinic providing comprehensive basic and emergency healthcare, as well as inpatient and laboratory services to Rohingya refugees and the local community. During the year, teams carried out around 93,000 outpatient, 2,700 inpatient and 3,300 mental health consultations. Almost 8,000 women attended an initial antenatal consultation, and around 16,000 antenatal and 5,000 postnatal consultations were performed overall.
Poor living conditions in slums
In Kamrangirchar and Hazaribagh, teams visited factories and tanneries and conducted more than 8,000 outpatient consultations. MSF is looking for ways to increase access to healthcare for workers based in the slum, many of whom are exposed to hazardous conditions for long hours.
MSF scaled up its sexual and intimate partner violence programme in Kamrangirchar, providing medical and psychological support to nearly 400 people who had been raped. MSF also provided psychological support to more than 700 victims of intimate partner violence.
Emergency response in Dhaka
From January to April, MSF supported the burns unit in Dhaka medical college hospital, offering psychological support to 68 victims of arson attacks during a period of political unrest in the city.
Kala azar research
MSF closed its project in Fulbaria, Mymensingh district, having concluded its research into improved treatment for post-kala azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL), a disease that represents a public health threat as it furthers the spread of primary kala azar. The research was a success, and has contributed to the endorsement of a new treatment regimen based on the results.
No. staff in 2015: 335 | Expenditure: €3.6 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1985 | msf.org/bangladesh
Ambia Khatun – 39-year-old post-kala azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) patient, Solimpur village, Trishal subdistrict of Mymensingh.
“I work at home and my husband has a job at a Chinese restaurant in Dhaka. In this village there have been plenty of cases of kala azar. In our family two out of three members contracted the disease. Kala azar hit me five years ago. I got frequent fevers; I became very weak and even lost my appetite. I went to doctors in Mymensingh but they failed to identify kala azar. Finally in Trishal subdistrict they treated me with tablets for one month. After that I felt good, but one and a half years later I developed PKDL. I consulted doctors in Trishal again, but the medicines didn't help. MSF tested me and referred me to their clinic in Fulbaria. With the treatment my lesions have almost disappeared. I think it is crucial to get cured of PKDL. I know that the kala azar virus was in my lesions. Luckily I got rid of it.”