In less than two months, MOAS has been able to open two Aid Stations in Bangladesh, marking the first time the organisation focuses its humanitarian efforts on land. After identifying the need for assistance, MOAS has efficiently built the first Aid Station in Shamlapur and then the second in Unchiprang.
Both Aid Stations provide a series of high quality equipment and specialized services to the local Bangladeshi population as well as the arriving Rohingya refugees. On average, both stations can treat up to 600 patients per day, the majority of them being women, pregnant women and children.
Patients are assessed on their condition after arriving at the station and are then referred to receive treatment or medicine based on their condition or complaint. All of the medicine in the Aid Stations is prescribed and distributed free of charge to patients. Within the facilities are a recovery suite, maternity room and a surgical area to perform a range of minor surgeries and trauma treatments. If a patient’s condition is deemed urgent or likely to deteriorate, a MOAS ambulance can transfer the patient to the local hospital.
A key focus of the Aid Station is to combat the high rate of malnutrition among children. In addition to medical care, the centres also provide preventative nutrition assistance to the many people at risk. With the World Health Organisation, we cooperate on providing vaccinations to patients.
In the short space of few weeks, MOAS Aid Stations have even helped deliver the next generation. On the 12th of November 2017 at 1pm our medical team assisted a Rohingya woman, who gave birth without complications to a healthy baby boy in the Shamlapur camp.
While MOAS provides humanitarian assistance on the ground in Bangladesh, the MOAS vessel is also playing a role. The Phoenix has reverted from a search and rescue role to one that is supporting the collection and distribution of food supplies. In cooperation with the Bangladeshi government, the Phoenix is delivering a 40-ton shipment of rice, lentils, salt, sugar and vegetable oil. The shipments are conducted twice a month and are offloaded at the port of Chittagong under the supervision of the Bangladesh Navy. They are then distributed by the Government to the high demand areas.
MOAS is now looking to extend its community of mobile field hospitals and within two months we hope to establish a further two.
“MOAS has managed to innovate and move past multiple obstacles to bring medical care to Bangladesh. MOAS’s highly responsive operational model, combined with the international and local expertise of our team, means that we are well-placed to deliver highly effective care, continuing MOAS’ history of providing specialised humanitarian interventions wherever they are needed the most”, says Christopher Catrambone, founder of MOAS.
While MOAS continues to focus its energies on delivering urgent medical assistance and aid, we urge the international community to act in support of Rohingya refugees and in solidarity with Bangladesh in mitigating this humanitarian crisis. Countless lives hang in the balance, and all stakeholders must mobilise urgently to prevent the widespread outbreak of disease and combat endemic malnutrition.
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