BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University hosted a dissemination event on the April 15, 2019, at the Sayeman Hotel in Cox’s Bazar.
Findings from two implementation research projects on the various health aspects of the Rohingya community were shared with academics, researchers and program staff of organizations. The first study focused on the morbidity pattern of the displaced Rohingya population, their health seeking behaviour and facility utilization. The second study was concerned with the needs assessment and a situation analysis of sexual and reproductive health care. The projects were funded by BRAC and the World Health Organization (WHO) respectively.
The event also featured a panel discussion with experts from the fields of humanitarian aid and public health. The Chief Guest for the event was Mohammed Abul Kalam, Commissioner of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC); with special guest Dr Mohammad Abdul Matin, civil surgeon at the Directorate of General Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health and Welfare (MoHFW). They provided a review of the Rohingya refugee situation, highlighting key areas of concern, expressing the need for sustainable economic support to set demand based services and facilities in the camps. Professor Zahidul Quayyum ended the ceremony by thanking the participants and the researchers from the two projects.
The BRAC funded health seeking behaviours study was conducted in 10 camps, covering 364 households, and gathered information on the socio-economic status, illness patterns and health seeking behaviour of 337 individuals. The study found that 93 percent of the sampled household members were suffering from acute illnesses, where 46 percent of household members were suffering from both chronic and acute illnesses. The facilities managed by national and international non-government organizations (NGOs) are the main providers. However, a demand for private health services from pharmacies/drug stores in the camps, and from non-traditional caregivers within the displaced Rohingya community was noted.
The WHO funded SRH project analyzed the situation for delivering the SRHR services for adolescent girls and women (12-59 years). A total of 403 respondents were interviewed in the household survey, among them 314 (78 percent) were women and 89 (22 percent) were adolescent girls aged 12 to 17 years. Demands related to SRH services include postnatal and antenatal care, menstrual hygiene, family planning, treatment of sexually transmitted infections and MR/post-abortion care. Efforts need to be made to improve awareness about availability and appropriateness of such care, and the responsiveness of the health systems. About 78 – 88 percent of women and adolescent girls received at least one ANC services and 50 percent received postnatal services, where the number of visits has been increasing over time. Most of the deliveries were conducted at home. Traditional birth attendants (TBA) mostly influenced them for home delivery. Female health care providers speaking Rohingya dialects were preferred by the respondents.
BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health was founded in 2004 in Dhaka, Bangladesh to address the unmet public health challenges particular to Asia, Africa and South America. The school's institutional partners are BRAC, the world’s largest NGO, and Icddr,b, a leading international health research institute. The School is at BRAC University, a premier higher education and development research institution.