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We spent 5 months near the Rohingya Refugee camps
UNICEF 12 month project-
At the request of UNICEF Bangladesh, we once again returned to the Rohingya Refugee Camps to offer humanitarian aid. UNICEF requested us to join them in financially supporting a 12 month project for the Rohingya Refugees as well as the Host community.
We agreed to support this project and the following was established:
8 child friendly spaces
8 adolescent friendly spaces
16 information desks
8 community based child protection committee centers
This project will provide services to 22,800 children and adolescents as well as 5, 150 adults.
The Save the Children Primary Care Hospital-
We were contacted by a Government employed Chief in Charge of Camp 21. He requested us to consider supporting the only 24/7 Primary Care Hospital. We visited this hospital which had been established by Save the Children. We were informed that they had recently provided service to more than 26,000 men, women and children as well as operated a maternity ward. All of this was done with absolutely no Laboratory for early diagnosis and detection and no incubator, no radiant warmer and no blue light for treatment of newborn jaundice from a high level of bilirubin in the blood. We were aware that the vast majority of the newborns were premature or of low birth weight and this equipment was essential in order to prevent extreme complications and in some cases, death. We agreed to supply all of the requested items to this primary care hospital.
Due to the current laws in Bangladesh, there is a long approval process and it could have delayed this donation for a period up to two months. We avoided this delay by contacting the government directly and rather than making our donation to Save the Children, we donated directly to the Government of Bangladesh. We located all items in the capital 11 hours away. We transported all items, installed all items and provide training for all items. They are now able to function as a true primary care hospital and many thousands of refugees and members of the host community will benefit from this service.
The Dental field unit-
One more time, the Chief in Charge of Camp 21 contacted us. This time he explained that there was only one dental facility in the camp and he would like us to see if there might be some way to offer our support. We visited the Dental field unit which consisted of a small tin walled building with two small rooms. We met with the young dentist and he explained that he performed all of his work using only hand tools and the training he had received at the University Dental Department. If it was impossible to remove all decay or if the problem was more complicated he had no choice but to use his dental hammer and break the tooth and remove it. Tanja and I were shocked by his story. We returned to our residence and contacted the capital. We located a complete dental package which contained everything needed to bring the young dentist into the 21st century.
We flew to the capital and inspected the equipment. We purchased the equipment and in less than 48 hours it was transported to the camp and installed. We are very happy that we were able to make this donation and we received a wonderful letter of appreciation from the dental team as well as the Government of Bangladesh.
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