Bangladesh + 1 more

Sharjah opens hospital in Bangladesh to offer medical aid to 140,000 Rohingya refugees

SHARJAH, 10th November, 2018 (WAM) -- Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Humanitarian Envoy of The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, and Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, SMC, yesterday opened the hospital built by The Big Heart Foundation in collaboration with the Medicines Sans Frontieres – Doctors without Borders, in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.

The AED3 million hospital aims to offer lifesaving aid and vital health care to around 140,000 displaced Rohingyas including a sizeable number of infants and young children. The 100-bed hospital is already taking in patients and is expected to serve 7,200 beneficiaries in its first year.

Following the facility’s inauguration, in Kutupalong camp, Al Qasimi and his accompanying delegation went on an inspection tour of the various units and were told about the 24/7 medical services offered at the hospital. They also learned about the hospital’s preparedness to contain infectious diseases and emergencies.

The hospital is equipped with intensive care units, pediatric and maternity wards, mobile clinics, and other units including support services for sexual assault victims – all delivered by a medical team from Doctors without Borders. The medical facility houses a water purification system, which will cater not just to patients, but to the area’s residents exposed to water-borne disease outbreaks such as cholera, bloody diarrhoea, typhoid, and others.

The hospital offers a much-needed response to the immense health needs of the Rohingya refugees by strengthening the area’s current infrastructure in responding to emergencies in the wake of epidemiological conditions or natural disasters. It is also equipped with hi-tech warning systems to detect infectious diseases, and respond to and controls outbreaks.

The delegation visited a host of Rohingya families residing in the refugee camp, where they saw first-hand their plight from close quarters, understood the harsh reality the dire need for practicable humanitarian efforts to fill existing gaps.

Al Qasimi said, "The Rohingya refugees are among the most suffering communities anywhere in the world today. With the inauguration of this hospital, we have extended the compassion of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, to people in dire need. Also, TBHF has reached a new milestone in furthering the UAE’s historic legacy of selfless service to the most vulnerable communities worldwide."

He highlighted that the hospital shows the emirate’s and the UAE’s integrated efforts to spreading the humanitarian message worldwide. "The hospital mirrors the solemn humanitarian bonds that connect the UAE to the rest of the world," he added.

In turn, Mohammed Khalaf, Director-General of Sharjah Media Corporation, said, "Since inception, SMC has taken its role in media and communications to unearth ground realities and take humanitarian messages to people. Inspired by the vision of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, SMC has unified the efforts of Sharjah’s organisations and individuals to achieve humanitarian development around the world.

"As a media institution, we have a big humanitarian duty that stems from our authentic Arab and Islamic values that guide us to lend a helping hand to people in need," he noted.

For her part, Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said, "The inauguration of the hospital follows a visit we paid earlier this year to Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh where we assessed the refugees’ overwhelming need for health care and basic necessities.

The Sharjah delegation included Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Sports Council; Mohammed Khalaf; Mariam Al Hammadi, Reem BinKaram, Director-General of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment; Tariq Allay, Director of Sharjah Government Media Bureau; Nada Al Lawati, Executive Board Member of NAMA; and Marwan Al Zaeem, Founder and CEO of Crown Construction.

WAM/ /Rola Alghoul/MOHD AAMIR