On 22 March 2021 afternoon a massive fire spread through camps 8E, 8W and 9 in the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, resulting in eleven deaths confirmed by government authorities and a significant number of injured.
The vast majority were mild injuries including superficial burns. A few severe cases were referred to and managed at the 250 Bed District Sadar Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, which has Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed capacity, and to other sub district facilities.
Six health facilities were damaged or destroyed by the fire: one specialized clinic, one Primary Health Care (PHC) facility, and one Health Post (HP) were destroyed while another PHC and HP were partially damaged. In addition, a secondary health center (Turkish Field Hospital) which played a key role as a referral facility in the camps was destroyed.
The incident caused substantial damage to the WHO Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) stockpiling container located at the Turkish Field Hospital. The fire resulted in the loss of medical supplies that would have served for primary health care needs and emergency and trauma care of more than 25 000 people.
All primary health care facilities have restarted health services, at least on a limited scale. Discussions on reconstruction are currently ongoing, with the re-establishment of most health facilities expected shortly. The Turkish Field Hospital is providing general surgery, trauma surgery and pediatric services out of the BDRCS Field Hospital. A Turkish military cargo plane carrying equipment and supplies arrived in Bangladesh and reconstruction of the Field Hospital has started.