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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

Violent crackdown fuels humanitarian crisis for unrecognised Rohingya refugees Bangladesh

Report 18 Feb 2010

Shelter main priority for cyclone Aila survivors in Bangladesh

Project Update 30 Jun 2009

Mounting desperation for Rohingya in Bangladesh

Project Update 24 Jun 2009

Long-suffering Rohingya in Bangladesh face unacceptable abuse

Project Update 18 Jun 2009

MSF focuses on Bangladesh's remote coastal areas affected by Cyclone Sidr

Project Update 29 Nov 2007

Water needs are the priority in Bangladesh

Project Update 28 Nov 2007

MSF teams assessing cyclone affected area

Project Update 22 Nov 2007

Aid has now reached most of the people MSF is assisting in cyclone-hit areas

Project Update 12 Sep 2007

Burmese refugees

Project Update 30 Aug 2007

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4 December 2018