Dressing wounds and restoring dignity

Today, more than 70 million people around the world are refugees or internally displaced as a result of conflict or persecution, twice as many people as 20 years ago.

FIGO speaks with fistula surgeon Dr. Sayeba Akhter, Bangladesh, on her experience with Rohingya women and girls: dressing wounds and restoring dignity a big challenge’.

“Since August 2017, around 700,000 Rohingya Refugees have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar. Among these refugees are women and girls facing severe abuse, poor hygiene and sanitation practices, leading to acute health and psychological problems.

The host community in Cox’s Bazaar, and the Bangladeshi government, have welcomed Rohingya’s on humanitarian grounds. Yet, Rohingya women and girls are facing social, psychological and reproductive health problems because of their experience of relentless violence in Myanmar.

Sadly, even in the refugee camps, they are still vulnerable towards sexual and gender based violence by their own and host community youths, and health issues continue due to limited knowledge and available resources. Women and girls have no access to hygiene practice, family planning, maternal health and reproductive health care.

Due to lack of care of childcare available in the camps, mothers often refuse to deliver or stay in hospitals. They also suffer from other obstetric complications, sexual and reproductive health problems like PPH, PET, eclampsia, abortion, obstetric fistula, PID, UTI, AUB etc”.

This is a tough story to hear, but on World Refugee Day it is one that we must think about.

FIGO look forward to hearing more from Dr. Sayeba Akhter as she highlights the specific social, psychological and reproductive health issues among women and girls, along with the challenges encountered in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.