Peace Winds is supporting the Myanmar population (Rohingya) fleeing from their homes in the northern Rakhine State of Myanmar. Over 688,000 people have fled, traveling hundreds of miles on foot or by boat to neighboring Bangladesh. Peace Winds has established a presence in Bangladesh, providing relief assistance to refugee camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
Peace Winds is partnering with Dhaka Community Hospital Trust (DCHT), a local medical NGO, to provide medical care and treatment for refugees. Peace Winds and DCHT have opened a clinic in Ukhiya, Bangladesh to support maternal care, nutrition and hygiene. They are providing nutritional supplements, family planning, primary healthcare service, and other specialized care to the Rohingya people. DCHT’s team of physicians and nurses also continue to travel to other remote camps in the area, treating injuries, malnutrition, and other medical conditions. The team treats hundreds of patients every day.
These refugees have seen unimaginable hardship. A young woman named Harida living in one of the camps told her story: “About two months ago, my village was attacked. I jumped onto a boat with my family and 12 others and sailed for three days until we reached Bangladesh. My house in the village I lived in was suddenly burned, and I was shot as I escaped.” The army was shooting as the family boarded the ship, hitting Harida in her thigh and shoulder.
Many refugees have similar, harrowing stories. Those who escaped are often from more vulnerable populations, including children, women, and the elderly. As more refugees arrive, the greater the need for emergency response and supplies. Improvement in water and sanitation has become a major issue, as large numbers of people have poured into the camps faster than infrastructure can be built to accommodate them. The density of the houses are a cause for concern, increasing the likelihood of epidemics such as cholera and malaria. The nutritional status of children has also deteriorated.
Peace Winds continues to evaluate the needs of the camps, providing shelter, safe water and hygiene, medical treatment, and combating child malnutrition.
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