More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh following a wave of targeted violence that began on August 25. Carrying few belongings but bearing many physical and psychological wounds, refugees have shared horrific stories of attacks with staff from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Teams are treating patients for bullet, blast, and stab wounds, severe burns, and sexual violence. Other serious medical needs include acute watery diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, suspected measles, and advanced obstetric complications.
The massive numbers of new arrivals have overwhelmed existing facilities for refugees in Bangladesh, and the humanitarian response has been scattered. People are living in makeshift shelters of mud and plastic sheeting in flood-prone areas. There is little if any access to clean water, food, latrines, or health care—leaving people extremely vulnerable to illness and disease outbreaks.
MSF has run a hospital in Kutupalong camp since 2009 and is now dramatically scaling up its medical response alongside water and sanitation activities. Currently, MSF staff are seeing between 800 and 1,000 patients a day. The needs remain massive and more help is needed.