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Red Cross emergency hospital opens in Cox’s Bazar

A fully equipped field hospital opened today to provide vital health care to thousands of people from Myanmar living in dire conditions in Cox’s Bazar.

Delegates running the field hospital in Rubber Garden, Kutupalong. Danish Martin Agge Nørgaard is the surgeon. He had his first operation in the field hospital this day. The first patient was a baby,
8 months, with a collapsed lung. Photo: Finnish Red Cross

The 60-bed hospital, the size of two football fields, has three wards, an operating theater, delivery suite with maternity ward, psychosocial support, an outpatient department and an isolation unit.

“Families have spent weeks in appalling conditions since fleeing Rakhine,” said Finnish Red Cross’ Dr Pentti Haatanen, the chief medical officer at the hospital.

“We’re preparing to treat people with a whole spectrum of health issues from injuries sustained on the journey to complicated pregnancies.

“There is also a very real risk of a waterborne disease outbreak, like cholera. The hospital’s isolation unit will help us deal with this if the worst happens.”

The hospital, which is run by the Norwegian and Finnish Red Cross, will be staffed by national medical personnel, including 15 doctors and 30 midwives from the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, and a 30-strong team of international staff.

“The facility is the first fully functioning hospital near the camps,” said Mozharul Huq, Secretary-General, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. “It will support the work of Bangladesh Red Crescent mobile medical teams and other clinics, which will now be able refer more complicated cases to the specialized hospital.”

The first person to see a doctor at the Red Cross Red Crescent field hospital in Bangladesh was Nurul Abshar. He came in, carried by his mother Rashida Begum, with an ear infection. The Red Cross field hospital opened in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh today to assist displaced people who have fled Myanmar, who are often arriving in a dire state of health.
The hospital is the size of two football fields and has 60 beds, three wards, an operating theatre, delivery suite. Photo: Corrine Ambler

Since 25 August, Red Cross Red Crescent mobile medical teams have treated more than 6,000 people. The hospital is situated between Kutupalong and Mainnerghona where hundreds of thousands of people are living.

More than 500,000 people are living without proper access to drinking water, enough food or a safe place to sleep, which is exacerbating health needs across camps and makeshift settlements.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent is the country’s leading humanitarian organization. It has a strong presence in Cox’s Bazar, and is working closely with the government of Bangladesh and Red Cross Red Crescent stakeholders involved in the humanitarian response, including UN agencies.


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