By Nathan Hill
Our role in Bangladesh
In 2017, during the sudden mass influx of the Rohingya people fleeing violence in Myanmar, Doctors Worldwide carried out a needs assessment in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where we identified critical training areas to help strengthen the capacity of local Bangladeshi doctors serving the healthcare needs of the Rohingya refugees.
As a result, the postgraduate Fellowship in Refugee and Migrant Health (PGF) was launched in July 2018.
With support from the United Nations International Office for Migration Bangladesh (IOM-Bangladesh), Doctors Worldwide delivered its third installment of the PGF (cohort C) Consisting of 113.5 hours of classroom teaching and 192 hours of clinical shadowing over the course of 13 weeks.
We delivered this to 27 local Bangladeshi doctors working in the Rohingya camps and host communities. As a result, the quality of care for 105,300 – 210,600 Rohingya patient consultations have been improved.
To date, we have fully trained 75 doctors since the PGF started, and we are on the way to train a combined total of 99 doctors from 4 cohorts by December 2019.
In order to improve the access to quality healthcare available to the Rohingya, Cohort C was our penultimate cohort of doctors to benefit from this training.
_P_We were also honoured to have PGF Cohort C hosted by the Malaysian Field Hospital, who gave the Bangladeshi doctors a fantastic first-hand insight into tertiary care within the refugee camp setting. You can read more about thishere.
The PGF curriculum has been developed by over 40 medical and humanitarian practitioners from the UK and around the world and contains 7 humanitarian medicine modules, such as communicable diseases and mental health. We collected comprehensive feedback from each of our Cohort C participants on the PGF after completing the 13-week course.
Preliminary analysis shows that 88.5% of the doctors trained in PGF reported that their standard consultation time with patients in Cox’s Bazar had increased, and 96.2% believe this had vastly improved the overall experience and quality of care received by their patients.
We have witnessed the PGF learning being applied directly within a clinical setting. One of the participants reported diagnosing dengue shock syndrome after receiving a lecture on dengue fever by our medical faculty. Another participant stated: “Before the course, we did not have a triage system, but after the course I trained my team and started triage.”
In addition, the post-PGF survey revealed that 100% of the participants felt their overall confidence in their patient assessment skills had improved.
The same survey also confirmed that 100% of the doctors had stated that they felt more empowered to work with their colleagues to identify and address the medical and public health issues in their clinics.
Learning and Evaluation Day
Doctors Worldwide held its 3rd learning and evaluation day with our UK-based and deployed medical faculty in our UK office in Stockport, Manchester, where we reviewed the PGF teaching delivery of Cohort C. A big thank you to everyone who attended online and in person, especially the clinicians who took time out of their busy schedule to take part.
A massive thank you from all of us
All of our PGF participants and medical faculty have worked incredibly hard, and we are immensely thankful to them for their commitment and determination.
We would also like to extend our utmost gratitude to the International Office for Migration (IOM) for their continuous support and presence throughout our response to the Rohingya crisis without whom we would not be able to deliver the training. We would also like to recognise and extend our appreciation to the People of Japan and the USA State Department PRM Bureau as funders for our project this year.
At Doctors Worldwide, we believe that access to quality healthcare is not a privilege but a human right. The PGF is an important factor in making this a reality for local communities in the Cox’s Bazar region. We would not be able to continue our work without your support, the support of our funders, and the willing participation of our faculty and the doctors of our fellowship.
Together, we can change lives for the better for communities across the world. _Donate at bit.ly/2LiZE4h