Bangladesh 1998

Repatriations to Burma reduced the number of Rohingya refugees so that only two camps remained in Cox's Bazaar. In the Nayapara camp, MSF continued its aid programme for the refugees. This involved supplementary feeding and healthcare for pregnant and breast-feeding women and children aged under ten, including antenatal services and family planning. Vaccination, laboratory services, staff training and health education for refugees were also provided with the objectives of preventing, controlling and curing common diseases, improving the nutritional status and ensuring hygiene and safe drinking water. Following forced repatriations in July 1997, refugees boycotted food and medical care for two months. MSF is firmly opposed to forcible repatriation and advocated on their behalf. As refugee numbers declined, MSF expanded its activities towards the local population. Two health centres were set up in Cox's Bazaar district, serving a population of 50,000 people, to provide curative and preventive health care to local people. As this district is particularly susceptible to cyclones, the team is prepared to respond quickly by dispatching first aid kits.