Rohingya Refugee Response – Bangladesh Factsheet – Public Health (31 December 2020) – Bangladesh


UNHCR works with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC), and other partners to provide healthcare and nutrition services to refugees and host communities. Through its partners, UNHCR provides access to health services in 35 facilities within and outside the refugee camps that serve both the host and refugee communities with primary health care, mental health services and COVID-19 management. UNHCR and partners provide community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) services through 18 integrated (OTP/ BSFP/TSFP/IYCF) community nutrition centers, and 3 stabilization centers. All facility-based services are complemented by community-based disease prevention and health and nutrition promotion services implemented by a network of more than 1400 Community Health Workers from the host and refugee communities.
UNHCR provided support to the strengthening of health systems within the host community by breaking ground for the construction of an outpatient department at the Sadar District Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, envisioned to be completed in early 2022. Within the Refugee camps, the construction of five new health facilities to improve the overall quality of health infrastructure and access to care was completed with official handover to partners planned for January 2021,.UNHCR continued to provide support to the COVID-19 response in Cox’s Bazar district, through 2 SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness) ITCs (Isolation and Treatment Centers) in Ukhiya and Kutapalong with a total bed capacity of 194; and one Intensive Care unit, High Dependency Unit and Severe ward in Sadar District Hospital in Cox’s Bazar with a total bed capacity of 38. As at the end of December 2020, 649 patients had been treated in these facilities. UNHCR through leadership of the Community Health Working group, and material support, collaborated with WHO and IEDCR (Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research) in the implementation of a COVID-19 seroprevalence study, whose aim is to determine the level of immunity to COVID-19 amongst the refugees. The study completed on 30 December and results will be shared in January 2021. UNHCR coordinated community health activities of all the partners within the 34 camps, in providing disease prevention and health promotion messages. In this reporting period, UNHCR supported Community Health Workers visited 604,917 households each month and provided health promotion messages. Through the Community Health Workers covering the 34 camps,
COVID-19 prevention messages were provided to 1.38 million households, with repeat visits inclusive. One quarantine facility which was established for COVID-19 contacts continues to operate and in November started quarantine of new arrivals as well, following hand-over of the transit center to the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner.
In addition to CMAM services, UNHCR and partners provided access to blanket supplementary feeding programs for children under 5 years and pregnant and lactating women at all the integrated nutrition centers. Infants and young children below 2 years continued to access promotion of appropriate feeding and care practices; and community management of mothers at risk and infants at the nutrition centers in the camps. The annual SMART nutrition survey to determine the health and nutrition status of the refugees was undertaken with completion of data collection at the end of December. Analysis and report writing are in progress and will be completed in February 2021. Refugees continued to access mental health services through psychologists and trained psychosocial support volunteers, delivered through integrated services in 19 health facilities, 16 GBV centers, 10 MHPSS centers and Community based Protection and Nutrition teams, as well as within the community. In this reporting period, 41,622 persons participated in group psychosocial activities.

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