International agencies have been working around the clock to effectively respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in Cox’s Bazar which hosts one of the largest refugee settlements in the world.
UN Migration Agency and UK Emergency Medical Team are continuing COVID-19 health support for refugees and host community there in Cox’s Bazar.
Key to this enormous effort includes enhancing existing partnerships and seeking new collaborative opportunities to address the lack of technical expertise and strained human resources in an already complex refugee crisis, read a statement of IOM Bangladesh on Sunday.
In May this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Kingdom’s Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT)--funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office—re-established joint health efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the district.
The effort is aimed at enhancing Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures while supporting case management and referral systems for both Rohingya and Bangladeshi communities, it added.
Through the IOM and UK EMT partnership, two existing health facilities have been upgraded, hundreds of health workers have been trained and three Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment Centres (SARI ITCs) were designed, constructed and equipped to provide efficient treatment to those infected with COVID-19.
“The joint efforts between IOM and UK EMT greatly benefit COVID-19 response efforts, especially for the most vulnerable in Cox’s Bazar. The support provided by UK EMT on capacity building, technical guidance and supervision of clinical teams enhanced the quality of service provided to both host community and refugee populations,” stated Dr. Charles Erik Halder, a national programme officer for IOM’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Programme in Cox’s Bazar.
Sarah Collis, health lead of UK EMT’s first team, said both teams were committed to ensure the Rohingya and host populations had access to quality COVID-19 services in Cox's Bazaar.
UK EMT also supported the development of trainings and guidelines at coordination level in areas such as palliative care and rehabilitation, working closely with WHO and supporting coherence and cooperation amongst partners, she added.