CPI-Supported Health Post Launches Mental Health Services for Rohingya Refugees and Bangladesh Host Communities
Two months after the opening of mental health and psychosocial support services at the Health Post in Camp 1W of Kutupalong Refugee Camp supported by Community Partners International (CPI), dozens of Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh host community members have sought assistance. Health Post psychologist Rahima Preety talks about the challenges they face and how she works to help them.
International Women’s Day: “There are many girls suffering in silence, too shy to talk about health issues.”
Raju, 51, lives in Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She works as a Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) volunteer supported by Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner Green Hill helping Rohingya refugee women and girls to access essential health services. To mark International Women’s Day, Raju spoke to Community Partners International about her work and community, and the health and hygiene challenges faced by women and girls.
An ER Doctor’s Testimony: “Every shift can seem like a tragedy novel. We try our best to save every life we can.”
When Dr. Ashim started working at the COVID-19 Isolation Unit at Sadar Hospital, Cox’s Bazar, in late 2020, Bangladesh was in the midst of a severe wave of COVID-19. “The pressure was very intense,” he explains. “We were overwhelmed with the number of patients. We had 20 beds but we were receiving more than 40 patients each day. We had to turn some patients away because we didn’t have enough space. The Emergency Department was also full.”
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.
"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.
"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.
Mohammad Taher is a Rohingya Community Immunization Volunteer supported by Green Hill/Community Partners International (CPI) in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. Each day, he visits households in his neighborhood to help pregnant and women and young children get vaccinated against deadly diseases.