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Bangladesh Refugee Emergency Factsheet: Public Health (30 September 2019)

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Enhancing access of refugees to essential health services

Integrate mental health interventions into general healthcare system

Health promotion and surveillance through community health workers

Develop community-based psychosocial awareness and support programmes

Treatment of acute malnutrition and enhance community engagement in identification and referrals of malnourished children.

Promoting and supporting maternal, infant and young child feeding (IYCF) and care practices


UNHCR works with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Refugee Health Unit (RHU) of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC), and other partners to strengthen health infrastructure and provide healthcare services to refugees. Curative and preventive health services are provided through 33 health facilities supported by UNHCR. Integrated mental health services are provided by trained general health staff, individual counselling is offered psychologists and trained Rohingya community counsellors. A medical referral system for transporting critically ill refugees to hospital services outside the refugee settlements is covering 50% of the camps.

Treatment of moderate and severe acute malnutrition is implemented through 25 facilities, facilities also promote appropriate infant and young child feeding practices to pregnant and lactating mothers through counselling on exclusive breastfeeding and timely introduction of complimentary food at six months, and maternal and child care practices to prevent future malnutrition.

More than 900 trained Community Health Workers and Nutrition Volunteers, mostly Rohingya refugees, are reaching out to their communities to raise awareness on various health and nutrition issues – such as newborn care with new mothers and infectious diseases prevention, identifying malnourished children and health cases and providing referrals to appropriate services. In addiiton, 100 Community Psychosocial Volunteers conduct group activities inclduing peer support groups and community workshops. UNHCR leads the Community Health Working Group in Cox’s Bazar which is instrumental in coordinating outreach activities in refugee settlements with other health partners and is co-chairing the MHPSS working group.