Rohingya Camp: Gonoshasthaya Kendra there to help from the start
While Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury's Gonoshasthaya Kendra has continuously caught the eye of the public during any crisis in the country, some of it's remarkable works have been going on for year without much publicity.
Over the past six years, GK, also a first responder of the Rohingya crisis, has expanded their healthcare, mental healthcare, and nutrition support for the refugees from Myanmar.
At the beginning of the Rohingya influx in August 2017, GK responded immediately by setting up temporary tents at Teknaf's Shahporir Dwip with 10 staffers, including three doctors.
There, they provided primary medical services to the incoming refugees.
GK has since then expanded their medical facilities and have been serving around 25,000-30,000 refugees a month.
Even after around one lakh refugees were relocated to Bhasan Char, an island in Noakhali, Gonoshasthaya Kendra was one of the first humanitarian organisations to move there with all their facilities.
Remembering the beginning of the Rohingya crisis, Shandhaya Roy, trustee board member of GK, said, "We were informed about the influx by our healthcare facilities that were previously established in Cox's Bazar.
"After going to Teknaf and witnessing the miserable situation of the refugees, we immediately deployed a medical team with 10 staffers, including three doctors, to provide emergency medical services by using our emergency funds."
Sandhaya, also director of GK's Cox's Bazar programme, added that Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury then made his way to Teknaf the very next day.
"He visited the camps where the refugees were being sheltered."
She added that he then spoke to different stakeholders and agencies, and initiated an organised healthcare service for the refugees.
Currently, GK is delivering services in 11 camps in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char through 17 facilities, said Md Atiqur Rahman, coordinator of GK in Cox's Bazar Rohingya project.
With the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, GK runs 24/7-services in five Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), and two Inpatient Departments (IPD) in two Registered Camps, and the Ukhiya Specialised Hospital, for refugees and also people of the host community, he said.
It has three Health Posts (HPs), specialised physiotherapy centre at Shamlapur near Camp-23, and one outdoor patient consultation point at the transit centre in Camp-7, Atiqur added.
"GK has also been providing Integrated Nutrition Services, including stabilisation centres, through four facilities in three camps. Meanwhile, a 10-bed Mental Health IPD at Nayapara camp, for both refugees and people of the host community, has been operational."
In Bhasan Char, GK provides support to the 20-bed hospital by providing necessary human resources and logistics with the help of the UNHCR.
"GK's goal of this project -- providing support to the refugees living in 12 of the 33 refugee camps in Cox's Bazar and in Bhasan Char -- is to improve the health, nutritional status and well-being of at least 2,83,844 out of 9,48,402 Rohingya refugees," said Atiqur.
He added that the project is ensuring the accessibility and availability of quality primary health services, including non-communicable diseases management, STIs management, primary dental care, mental health and psychosocial support services, physiotherapy and physical Rehabilitation services, vaccination programme, comprehensive nutrition programme, community-level health education, and referral services.