Since the Rohingya refugee crisis began in 2017, the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh has experienced an influx of nearly one million refugees escaping violence, discrimination, and statelessness in Myanmar. This has placed an unprecedented strain on the existing healthcare services in Cox’s Bazar and surrounding areas which has resulted in a shortage of qualified healthcare personnel.
The Postgraduate Fellowship in Migrant and Refugee Health (PGF) started in 2017 when Doctors Worldwide identified the need to invest in the local health response through professional and sustainable training of the local medical doctors serving Rohingya refugees and host communities. The PGF training programme runs for 13 weeks per cohort and consists of 7 medical modules developed and has been put together by over 50 medical and humanitarian experts from Doctors Worldwide.
On December 13th 2019, our alumni from the Postgraduate Fellowship in Migrant and Refugee Health (PGF) came together in the city of Cox Bazar in Bangladesh. Since 2017, 99 participants (split into 4 cohorts each), took part in the 13-week medical education programme designed to strengthen their capacity to respond to those affected by the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.
“We formed our own little family through the PGF”
–an alumni shared their thoughts on their time during the celebratory evening.
“The PGF has proved to be a sustainable and innovative programme that has provided long-term investment and technical advising to the local health system. It has improved the response & health outcomes of the communities they serve.”
–Georgia Venner, Doctors Worldwide Project Manager
Along with the 99 participants from Cohort A – D, staff from Doctors Worldwide’s head office and representatives from the International Organization of Migration (IOM) attended the event. The IOM has been instrumental in the PGF’s success.
Weaving knowledge and trust among 36 health partners @IOMBangladesh and @dwwuk completed 4 training courses that allowed 99 Bangladeshi medical doctors to strengthen their skills. The @UNmigration continues to promote equity in access to health for host communities and refugees
Alumni gathered to celebrate the PGF programme
“Strengthening the local Bangladeshi healthcare workforce enables communities to build resilience when faced with a crisis. Almost 90% of the first responders are the local people who continue the burden of the humanitarian crisis beyond the NGO response. The PGF recognises this and focuses on developing the capacity and medical skills of the local healthcare workforce not only to continue the good work they are already doing, but to ensure that the local healthcare system continues to grow from strength to strength for the long term.”
–Monowara Gani, Doctors Worldwide Chief Executive
Overall, the PGF for Cohorts A through D has:
- Trained 99 medical doctors over 4 cohorts representing nearly half of all the medical doctors in the Rohingya camps
- Benefited over 900,000 patient consultations with doctors trained through the PGF.
- Held 201 sessions (787 hours) of clinical shadowing conducted by Doctors Worldwide medical faculty
- Issued 594 additional professional certificates including MISP for Reproductive Health, ETAT, BLS, and LSHTM Health in Humanitarian Crises (online)
- Been represented by 36 NGOs, iNGOs and GOs across the trained cohorts
- Held 138 sessions (423 hours) of teaching conducted by DWW medical faculty
- Seen over a 20% increase from baseline knowledge demonstrated by each participant, on average, in addition to new skills learned.
- Recorded over 1,500 workplace-based assessments in personal logbooks including case-based discussions, directly observed procedural skills, mini-clinical evaluation exercises, and reflective practice by DWW medical faculty
- Deployed 26 expert faculty of doctors from Doctors Worldwide including primary care, emergency medicine, paediatrics, OBGYN, mental health, and more
- Created a clinical support group for 179 Bangladeshi doctors run by Doctors Worldwide
Thank you from all of us. You can read more about the PGF here
We would like to extend our utmost gratitude to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Bangladesh for their continuous support and presence throughout our response to the Rohingya crisis without whom we would not be able to deliver the training. We would also like to recognise and extend our appreciation to the People of Japan, the USA State Department PRM Bureau, and ECHO as funders for our project this year.
At Doctors Worldwide, we believe that access to quality healthcare is not a privilege but a human right. The PGF is an important factor in making this a reality for local communities in the Cox’s Bazar region. We would not be able to continue our work without your support, the support of our funders, and the willing participation of our faculty and the doctors of our fellowship.
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