IOM and Doctors Worldwide Conclude 9-Month Training for Medical Practitioners in Cox’s Bazar
Cox’s Bazar – Health emergencies take place daily in Cox’s Bazar district and nearby refugee camps, affecting people of all ages and spanning all types of injuries and infections, heart attacks and strokes, pregnancy-related complications and chronic diseases.
This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UK-based medical charity Doctors Worldwide concluded “Doctors Worldwide Improving Care in Health Emergencies” (DICE), a nine-month programme hosting 60 medical practitioners in 10 Cox’s Bazar health facilities.
Supported by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the DICE programme aims to strengthen the quality of care provided at the emergency care level, particularly within 24/7 primary care facilities acting as first responders in acute cases and emergencies.
The programme deploys medical experts who specialize in emergency medicine, primary care, infectious diseases, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. The specialists teach IOM and partner health care workers appropriate ways of addressing a variety of critical illnesses.
Due to the sprawl of Rohingya refugee camps, many emergency cases arrive in Primary Health Care Centres, facilities which are often not prepared to receive them, in terms of equipment, training and protocols. Since emergency health care is a developing field in Bangladesh, a systematic approach is needed.
“We have witnessed firsthand how inadequate emergency care can lead to preventable death in the Rohingya camps and host communities,” said Monowara Gani, CEO at Doctors Worldwide UK. “The DICE programme was established to improve the quality of emergency care with a focus on primary care, which is the bedrock of timely and critical intervention at the emergency care level.”
Through its Postgraduate Fellowship in Migrant and Refugee Health programme, Doctors Worldwide delivered training modules for 36 different agencies and almost half the Bangladeshi doctors working in the Rohingya camps, as well as in host communities.
For example, with the recurrence of pregnancy-related emergencies, the programme opened its obstetric emergencies training session to all camp-based facilities, while an additional training was organized for over 110 doctors and midwives. As a result of this training, an average of 1,480 antenatal and postnatal consultations are now conducted each week.
“At a time when comprehensive and quality health care is needed more than ever, the DICE programme represents a significant achievement for both those in need of emergency care and those who deliver it,” said IOM’s Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Marques Pereira. “We hope these newly acquired skills will not only save lives but also drastically improve the quality of patient care and clinical governance in health centres.”
Using correct infrastructure and training could also significantly improve general day-to-day activities of primary care centres in critical areas, such as medical diagnosis, chronic disease management or infection control.
IOM health care worker Topon Deb Nath has been working for the Rohingya response for over six months and sees up to 320 patients daily. “The programme’s tools have helped me improve my knowledge and skills in emergency management. The training has also given me a confidence boost and taught me how to be a good leader and work well in a team,” Topon Deb Nath explained.
A total of 211,940 patient consultations have been conducted by the participants so far, using the knowledge acquired through the training. Doctors Worldwide plans to analyze the data and produce a report which will serve as the base for the programme’s expansion to other parts of Bangladesh, and a tool for policymaking.
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