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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
Refugees Fleeing into Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee crisis

Crisis update – October 2017

Crisis Update 17 Oct 2017
Leah, counsellor, MSF Women's Clinic, Kamrangirchar

"Now, no one can abuse me" - Counselling for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence

Voices from the Field 10 Oct 2017
MSF Medical Action - Rohingya Crisis
Rohingya refugee crisis

“If this is the better option, the other must have been a living hell”

Voices from the Field 6 Oct 2017
Refugees Fleeing into Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee crisis

Rapid influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into Bangladesh

Report 1 Oct 2017
MSF Medical Action - Rohingya Crisis
Rohingya refugee crisis

Immediate action needed to avert massive public health disaster

Press Release 21 Sep 2017
Rohingyas Fleeing into Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee crisis

International humanitarian access to Rakhine State must urgently be permitted

Press Release 18 Sep 2017
Refugees Fleeing into Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee crisis

Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh urgently require medical and humanitarian assistance

Press Release 6 Sep 2017

The Situation of Rohingyas Fleeing Myanmar to Bangladesh

Report 1 Feb 2017
Mediterranean migration

Proactive search and rescue operations essential life-saver

Project Update 20 Aug 2015

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4 December 2018