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The women and children of Cox Bazaar

DURBAN – The Rohingya have been struck with poverty with more than 212 000 Rohingya’s living in Ukhai and Teknaf sub-districts in Cox’s Bazar. The huge influx in population means fewer resources are available in the districts proving to be a major issue for the 58% of new arrivals who are children, and 60% who are girls and women (3% pregnant and 7% lactating women). Despite the Bangladesh Army taking charge of relief intervention efforts, resources are still inadequate for the rising number of the population. The United Nations has called the humanitarian crisis, “one of the fastest growing refugee crises of recent years”.


Penny Appeal is currently providing medical health services in the area. We are also ensuring reliable sexual and reproductive healthcare delivery with an emphasis on maternal health and family planning to the Rohingya community.


With the help of donations, Penny Appeal is able to provide one basic operational clinic, and two full-time doctors to provide treatment. In addition, we are also training staff and local medical personnel, four health care service providers, with the aim of producing 10 920 primary healthcare consultations over a six month period. We are also able to provide free medicines required to ensure primary health care, the arrangement of medical vehicle/ambulances, the raising of health and hygiene awareness and the proper registration and documentation of consultations and procedures performed. All of these services are essential in ensuring a dignified approach to primary and reproductive health in challenging living conditions. Amongst those who benefit are the approximated 12 000 women of reproductive age, and 13 000 children under the age of 13.


A further approximated 840 lactating mothers and 360 pregnant women have also benefitted from the services to date. Indirectly, an estimated 200 000 Rohingya in adjacent camps and host communities living adjacent to the camp will benefit from the medical services in Camp 11 resulting in a decrease in disease spread, and the encouragement of sexual, hygiene and reproductive health education.


In recent months, Penny Appeal has also reached out to other Camps within Cox Bazaar. Vulnerable Rohingya women and adolescent girls living in camps 4, 11, 12, and 18 are better able to deal with their experiences and address SGBV against them through one-to-one psychosocial counseling provided by Penny Appeal. Adolescent boys and men belonging to Rohingya communities in Camps 11 and 12 who are vulnerable to SGBV are also now supported to address their protection needs. Team members working with Rohingya Refugees have increased capacity to provide effective support with the help of Penny Appeal. These programmes will run until January 2020.We still have much work to do as the area still needs continuous support and donations for the maintaining of the clinics and health operations. Donations can be made to Penny Appeal SA on www.pennyapeal.org.za or by emailing hello@pennyappeal.org.za, phoning +2731 110 0573 or visiting our offices at 565 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Essenwood, Durban, 4091.

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