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Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh three years after their exodus


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Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are living in Bangladesh after fleeing targeted violence in Myanmar.

Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh has hosted Rohingya refugees fleeing targeted violence in neighbouring Myanmar's Rakhine state since 1978. The latest violence, which began in August 2017, has provoked an unprecedented exodus, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to live in camps with deteriorating conditions. Around 860,000 Rohingya refugees live over a surface of 26 square kilometres.

At present, we are providing medical care in two districts: Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar, while working to maintain our regular medical response. The current intervention in Cox’s Bazar started in 2009, when Kutupalong field hospital was established to serve both refugees and the local community.

In August 2017, we scaled up activities and now run nine health facilities across Cox’s Bazar district, including three hospitals, three primary health centres and two specialised clinics. 

Why are we here?

Our activities in 2023 in Bangladesh

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2023.

MSF in Bangladesh in 2023 In 2023, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provided medical services through multiple health facilities in Bangladesh, primarily serving Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar and the capital, Dhaka.
Bangladesh IAR map 2023

Our general and specialised health services included emergency care, sexual and reproductive care, and mental health support. We also treated patients with non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

It is over six years since hundreds of thousands of Rohingya arrived in Bangladesh, fleeing persecution in Myanmar, yet the possibility of a safe return remains remote. Dire, overcrowded living conditions, a lack of basic services and a complete reliance on humanitarian aid are taking a toll on both refugees and the host community. With no solutions to the crisis on the horizon, MSF is witnessing severe consequences for the physical and mental health of refugees stuck indefinitely in the camps.

Since 2019, we have been treating people with injuries sustained in physical assaults and other forms of intense violence, a further indication of the dangerous living conditions in the camps.
In May, a scabies prevalence survey conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that nearly 40 per cent of Rohingya refugees had the disease, reflecting what we were seeing in our clinics between March 2022 and May 2023. MSF undertook concerted advocacy work calling for a mass drug administration programme in the camps, which was then successfully implemented.

Towards the end of the year, we handed over our Unchiprang project, where we had been offering basic healthcare, to the International Rescue Committee, and concluded our activities at Sadar hospital in Cox’s Bazar.

In Dhaka, we continue to run two clinics in Kamrangirchar district, offering sexual and reproductive healthcare, medical and psychological treatment for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and occupational health services for factory workers.

We also constructed a waste management area in Kamrangirchar hospital, a 31-bed public health facility, where we will begin to offer sexual and reproductive health services in 2024.  

Additionally, in collaboration with the national Communicable Disease Control Programme, we drafted national hepatitis C treatment guidelines, which are currently under review by Bangladeshi specialists.


In 2023
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Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar miss out on hepatitis C cure amid lack of treatment options

Press Release 12 Jun 2024
Out of Fear, Rohingya youth trapped in violence and despair (stills)
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Rohingya youth trapped in violence and despair in Cox's Bazar

Documentary 6 Dec 2023
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Funding for Rohingya must increase as medical needs surge in camps

Project Update 23 Aug 2023
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Cuts to refugees’ food rations will have severe health impact

Press Release 2 Mar 2023
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One million Rohingya remain in precarious conditions five years after horrific violence in Myanmar

Voices from the Field 25 Aug 2022
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Unprecedented increase of scabies cases in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps

Project Update 25 Mar 2022
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh three years after their exodus
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Three questions on life for the Rohingya in Bangladesh

Interview 18 Mar 2021
Mental Health Support | Kutupalong Hospital
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Relocations, reduced services leave Rohingya communities at breaking point in Bangladesh

Project Update 21 Jan 2021
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Rohingya refugees remain in limbo three years after mass exodus

Project Update 25 Aug 2020

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4 December 2018