HAEFA Newsletter – January 2022

HAEFA's Support to Bangladeshi Women to Fight Against Cervical Cancer

  • Cervical cancer is one of the largest health threats facing women in Bangladesh today. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), over 50 million Bangladeshi women are at high risk of developing cervical cancer. 
  • With a ‘Star in Global Health’ award, HAEFA introduced an innovative single-visit see-and-treat cervical cancer (CC)  screening and treatment for the ready-made garment (RMG) factory workers in Bangladesh in 2018. 
  • HAEFA has been providing this see-and-treat CC screening to women aged between 30-60 year of age, using mobile colposcope in Kurigram district since 2019 and in Cox’s Bazar district since 2021. 
  • HAEFA has been working with UNFPA and DGHS with funding support from FCDO for Kurigram and from the World Bank for Cox’s Bazar.
  • Cox’s Bazar is part of the Health and Gender Support Project for host communities funded by the World Bank.

Kurigram District:

  • More than 5,000 women were screened for cervical cancer in the month of December; more than 30 of whom tested VIA positive.
  • Confirmed Cervical Cancer Patients were sent to the National Institute of Cancer Research & Hospital (NICRH) in Dhaka for treatment on 23 December 2021.
  • Suspected cancer patients were referred to Rangpur Medical College Hospital for further evaluation (biopsy) in January 2022.
  • During the visit of Brown University and the UNFPA Team in Kurigram in December 2021, a total of 5 digital colposcopy camps were arranged to provide treatment facilities to the VIA positive patients. 
  • More than 140 patients were brought from 9 Upazilas at colposcopy camps and Professor Susan Cu-Uvin, MD conducted colposcopy and provided treatment support to more than 10 positive patients using thermocoagulation.
  • HAEFA’s Dr. Sumashree Roy and midwife Parul Rani were trained for thermocoagulation, a method used for treating early precancerous lesions.

Cox’s Bazar:

  • In December, more than 1,500 women were screened at the  VIA centers at 7 upazila health complexes (UHC)  in Cox’s Bazar. Around 20 cases were VIA positive. More than 2 positive patients were confirmed positive after the second VIA.
  • The HAEFA Cox’s Bazar team organized 7 VIA camps during this reporting time in four Upazilas. More than  780 women were screened and around 10 were positive.
  • In December 2021, Brown University and HAEFA organized three Colposcopy camps (two at District Hospital and one in Pekua UHC). More than 170 patients had undergone mobile (digital) Colposcopy. The team identified five positive cases and performed Thermocoagulation. Prof. Dr. Susan Cu-Uvin trained HAEFA’s physician (Dr. Tasnim Toma and Dr. Rubaiya Shafrin in thermocoagulation. In addition, several medical officers and senior staff nurses at the District Hospital were also trained for mobile colposcopy and thermocoagulation. Associate Prof. of Brown University Dr. Ruhul Abid conducted a large group training  on COVID-19 IPC including  origin, human-to-human transmission, precautions, and prevention of SARS CoV-2, followed by Q&A with service providers.
  • High officials from DG Health and UNFPA presented their introductory speech to the participants, which included a detailed discussion on the challenges on screening precancerous cervical lesions and way forward.

Hands-on Training on Mobile ODT and Thermocoagulation Machine:

  • Practical demonstrations on data input, imaging, and screening using Mobile ODT were introduced and performed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Susan Cu-Uvin in the presence of senior OBGYN consultants, medical officers, midwives, paramedics, and SSNs.
  • The goal of the refresher training was to train the participants to provide better service to the targeted group with more accuracy and minimal suffering to the patients with precancerous lesions. 
  • The training was very informative and supportive to ensure a better quality of service provided by the providers.

HAEFA's Contribution to Ensure the Wellbeing of Rohingya FDMN/Refugees 

Health And Education For All provides free healthcare services to underserved communities in Bangladesh. Since 2017, our medical teams have provided care for over 145,000 Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazar district. HAEFA healthcare professionals have been providing free medical care and medicines to the Rohingya FDMN since its establishment. In the month of December 2021, more than 4,000 refugees have received free medical care from HAEFA. A summary of the medical conditions of the patients treated by the three camps of HAEFA is provided below.  

Kutupalong (Camp 1W):

  • More than 2500 patients visited Camp 1W in Kutupalong and received Healthcare services.
  • The prevalent cases were Fever, Cough, DM, HTN, Asthma, COVID-19-like symptoms, and Dermatitis. 

Balukhali (Camp 09):

  • More than 1500 patients visited Camp 9 in Balukhali and received Healthcare services.
  • The prevalent cases were Fever, Cough, DM, HTN, Asthma, COVID-19-like symptoms, and Dermatitis.
  • A Diagnostic pathological lab for NCD (non-communicable diseases) were introduced at Camp 09 in December 2021The NCD Lab introduction meeting was held in Camp 09 CIC Office conference room. Among the participants, the president of HAEFA  Dr. Ruhul Abid, Prof. Dr. Susan Cu-Uvin, Line Director of NCD DGHS Prof. Dr. Robed Amin, other high officials from DG Health, Dr Abu Toha M.R.H Bhuiyan of RRRC , CIC Camp 09  Mr. Md. Arafatul Alam and UHFPO,  Dr. Ranjan Barua Rajon from Upazila Health Complex of Cox’s Bazar were present.

FDMN Rohingya camp at Bhashan Char:

  • More than 1400 patients visited and received free healthcare services including medicine in December 2021. 
  • The prevalent cases were fever, cough, HTN, DM, asthma, presumptive TB, skin disease, and pregnancy.
  • Transportation and delivery of medicine from Dhaka to Chittagong Naval Shipyard, and finally to Bhashan Char HAEFA Medical Center were made to meet up the beneficiaries medical needs.

FDMN/Rohingya Refugee COVID-19 Vaccination:

  • In the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Ukhiya, more than 306,700 people were vaccinated, accounting for 79% of the total target population over the age of 18.
  • Among the total vaccinated population,  47% were male and  53% were females. 

HAEFA Stands Behind HIV-Positive Patients

HAEFA has been providing treatment and medication for HIV-positive patients for the last 1 year. The medication has been secured from Cox’s Bazar Sader Hospital. The individuals were given medicine at three-month intervals and were monitored by medical personnel on a regular basis.

HAEFA Continues to Support Mental Health Crisis and Reduce Stigma
  • HAEFA, in collaboration with Project HOPE and partners at the National Institute of Mental Health, and BSMMU, Dhaka, is implementing “HERO-BANGLADESH,” an online Mental Health and Resiliency Training of the Trainers (TOT) for frontline healthcare workers including physicians, nurses, paramedics of Bangladesh since November 2021. 
  • This Mental Health TOT was inaugurated by the Honorable Minister Dr. Dipu Moni, MP, Ministry of Education on November 25, 2021. Other dignitaries present at the occasion were Prof. Dr. Robed Amin, Line Director, NCD, DGHS, as well as national mental health specialists Prof. Dr. Mohit Kamal, Dr. Mekhala Sarkar, and other mental health experts and enthusiasts from the USA and Bangladesh. The session was moderated by Prof. Dr. Ruhul Abid and other volunteer physicians, trainers, and management staff of HAEFA. This online, live, interactive training course has two modules: Module 1 : Overview of Stress; and Module 2: Management of Stress and Building Resilience.
  •  It is a Free of Cost two-day course with two-hour per day, led by the mental health experts of BSMMU, NIMH, and volunteer physicians and enthusiasts of Bangladesh and the USA. 
  • After completing both modules, trainers get a “Training Completion Certificate” and other training materials. Participants of the TOT will then conduct cascading trainings to share mental health resources within their networks. HERO-BANGLADESH is aiming to train 3,000 healthcare workers by April 2022. 
  • The primary goal is to ensure this information is disseminated as widely as possible throughout Bangladesh. 

Advanced COVID-19 Clinical Management Certification Course by HAEFA

    • The three-hour online course has been developed by HAEFA in collaboration with the DGHS, Project HOPE and The Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Studies of Brown University, USA, with support from Save the Children Bangladesh and USAID. 
    • The main objective of this free-of-cost Clinical Course  is to help physicians in Bangladesh acquire the most current, evidence-based clinical knowledge and skills for COVID-19 management in an easily digestible and interactive manner. 
    • The Certificate is issued by the CHRHS Brown University, DGHS, Project HOPE and HAEFA in collaboration with SCiB and USAID. 
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