- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
MSF in Bangladesh, 2006
All articles on Bangladesh »
In April 2006, an MSF survey revealed high mortality rates and increased malnourishment of small children in a makeshift camp near the town of Teknaf, in the southeastern tip of Bangladesh. The camp is home to more than 5000 Rohingya refugees — ethnic Muslims who fled neighbouring Myanmar, where they are subjected to widespread repression. The camp is a squalid and crowded stretch of land where people live packed into shelters constructed from wood and small pieces of plastic.
MSF has set up a small clinic and provides basic health and maternal care to the population in the camp and surrounding area. Malnourished children are enrolled in an ambulatory nutrition program. An MSF technician improves the water quality and hygiene conditions in the camp; plastic sheeting and much-needed mosquito nets are also distributed.
On the border with India and Myanmar (Burma), MSF continues to work in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This mountainous region is difficult to access and for decades was ravaged by conflict and forced displacement. Until a peace accord was signed between the government and the main rebel party in 1997, this area was characterised by internal strife and violence against the tribal population. Today, ethnic fighting flares up sporadically, but the area is relatively stable overall and has seen an increase in local efforts for development.
Reducing the impact of malaria
As all of Bangladesh, the southeast region is characterised by general poverty and a lack of education in remote areas. The population in this particular area also suffers badly from malaria. Although this tropical disease can be treated, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts many people die from malaria, especially children. MSF is running three clinics and a dozen mobile clinics and treatment sites in the districts of Khagrachari and Rangamati, where basic healthcare is provided with a special focus on tackling malaria. Mobile teams take the fast-acting malaria combination therapy to remote villages, seeing more than 80,000 patients every year. Health educators also teach villagers about malaria prevention, basic hygiene and pre-natal care. Midwives, together with a team of birth attendants, look after pregnant women and newborns and ensure that patients are referred to a hospital when any complications arise.
MSF has worked in Bangladesh since 1985.