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Healthcare In The Rohingya Refugee Camps: A DICE And PGF Project Update

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The end of April brought us to the near-halfway point of the completion of our PGF Cohort E (Postgraduate Fellowship Programme in Refugee & Migrant Health) Programme, and our DICE Cohort B (Doctors Worldwide Improving Care in Health Emergencies) Programme, with a total of 98 participants enrolled across both these projects for 2021. Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, lockdown restrictions have meant all teaching has transitioned online. Despite these challenges, PGF shadowing, and DICE site visits continue, led for a brief time by Dr Indranil Das, an Emergency Medicine specialist from India who co-facilitated our Triage and Acute Care Module for the PGF project.

So far -- Postgraduate Fellowship Programme Cohort E:

  • Modules completed in Humanitarian Principles, Professional and Communication Skills, and Emergency Care & Triage - All 30 participants completed ETAT online certificate through the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

  • 21 field visits (clinical shadowing, mentoring, and site assessments) conducted with our medical experts

So far -- DICE Programme Cohort B:

  • 68 participants enrolled, including medical assistants, clinical managers, nurses & midwives from IOM clinics and implementing partners.

  • 3-day intensive training event completed , with 54 participants joining online (due to COVID-19 restrictions) including medical assistants, medical doctors, and clinical managers.

  • 65% of our participants agree/strongly agree that deaths in their clinic could be prevented with further training in Emergency Medicine skills.

  • 3 Facility Improvement Plans generated with targets set to improve emergency care services in the refugee camps and host communities.

Reflecting on our projects, Dr Indranil Das, one of our Emergency Medicine medical experts, said:

"The field visits were extremely fruitful as I was able to impart some practical guidelines to the participants of both DICE and PGF, and did clinical shadowing whilst they were seeing patients...the field activities are a win-win situation as it also gave me the scope to see the arrangements and the admiring work done by IOM in those field hospitals... There is always some scope for improvements [so] I have advised them in specific contexts for the participants."

With the ease of COVID-19 travel restrictions, we have recently deployed out a medical team including an Obstetrics & Gynaecology Specialist, a HIV & GBV Specialist, a Paediatric Specialist, and an ICU nurse, to lead on teaching sessions, clinical mentorship, and healthcare system strengthening as part of both our DICE & PGF Programmes.

Thanks to our partner IOM in supporting this work.

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