The Cox’s Bazar district has 140,000 Rohingya refugees, 19.4 per cent of whom are children under five years of age. Image Credit: Courtesy: Sharjah Media Corporation

Sharjah: Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) has donated Dh3 million to The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) to build a hospital in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees.

Within the first year, the hospital is expected to receive 7,200 inpatients and provide health care for thousands more from the district, which is populated by 140,000 Rohingya refugees — 19.4 per cent of whom are children under five years of age.

The hospital will be built in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) to increase capacities for responding to the overwhelming health needs of camp residents. The medical facility will contribute to monitoring communicable diseases as well as providing 24-hour services at the emergency departments, intensive care units, paediatric wards, maternity wards, isolation wards, dietary clinics and laboratories.

The launch of the hospital will come at a particularly pertinent time for the refugees as the aftermath of the Bangladesh monsoon season leaves a trail of destruction in its path. Heavy rain and landslides are reportedly causing deaths and injuries already and increasing risks of disease outbreak and aid disruptions.

The hospital will provide intensive control systems and mobile clinics that help strengthen the prevention of communicable diseases and uplift response rates, as well as assess health conditions that require hospital admission for prolonged stays.

There will be a focus on providing healthy nutrition and primary care for refugees, including sexual and reproductive health, improving drainage and sanitation systems, improving access to quality health care for mothers and children by providing emergency obstetric and neonatal care, and services for victims of sexual abuse and violence against children and adults.

The hospital will have 100 beds, and provide health care for all patients with serious medical conditions that require emergency care, including surgical and obstetric emergencies.

Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, said: “Civilised communities must be able to interact and communicate with one another and stand by the needy, vulnerable and sick. Sharjah Media Corporation’s support for TBHF’s humanitarian efforts, aspirations and goals reinforces Sharjah’s vision and shows the commitment of government institutions and its impact. We truly need such honourable models and combined efforts to provide refugees with hope for a better tomorrow.”

Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, chairman of SMC and special TBHF humanitarian envoy, said: “The donation by [SMC] aligns with the humanitarian and social duty called for by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. It also realises the vision of his wife [Shaikha Jawaher] to reach to people in need and help them wherever they are and whatever their circumstances. The donation mirrors Sharjah Media Corporation’s support of TBHF’s efforts in assisting refugees and displaced people as victims of conflicts, wars, inequality and natural disasters.”

Medicines Sans Frontiers will supervise the general management of the hospital after obtaining the necessary permits from local and regional authorities.