by Brad Stewart
Today we left Cox’s Bazar early and travelled to another refugee camp near Thaingkhali Khal. This camp is another congregation point for new arrivals who have crossed the Myanmar border and- as was the case yesterday- there was absolutely no medical aid in place for these people. We had to carry our equipment into this camp as the roads were unaccessible because of the monsoon rain.
Our patients arrived very quickly after our arrival, beginning with the most serious trauma cases. Patients of note included: a 14 year old boy with a gunshot wound to his face, a 20 year old female with gunshot wound to her forearm which killed her child, a 17 year old male with surgical amputation due to a gun shot wound. There were numerous presentations of through-and-through gun shot wounds, bullet grazes and machete wounds.
The team worked continuously throughout the day on malnutrition, dehydration, gastrointestinal, fever, tuberculosis and skin infection cases. Andrew Strunk transported three patients to the MSF hospital at Kutapalong including the 20 year-old female with gunshot wound to her forearm, an 8 year-old girl with acute abdominal pain and a 12 day old infant who was born in the camp and yet to feed with severe malnutrition (this was heartbreaking).
While returning from the hospital transfer, Andrew observed an elderly man being beaten by an NGO distributing food resulting in altered conscious state and a suspected head injury. Andrew stabilised the man, and transported him to hospital.
Three tuberculosis patients with exacerbations were taken to a clinic in a taxi paid for by DRG (thankyou, our supporters!!).
Two Rohingya helped DRG in the makeshift clinic today; a teacher and peadiatrician. On departure, we left medical supplies for the doctor to continue the work, especially with kids.
Tomorrow we will repeat our daily routine, which is proving to be highly effective, in a new location on the border. Backpacker Medics DRG is the first medical care that many Rohingya refugees are receiving after entering Bangladesh but it’s a drop in the ocean of what’s really needed here.