Summary of HAEFA Services Provided

  • 53,285 women screened for cervical cancer in Kurigram from Nov. 2019 – June 30, 2022
  • 27,950 women screened for cervical cancer in Cox’s Bazar from July 2021 – June 30, 2022
  • 222,342 Rohingya refugees/FDMN and host community people received free medical care in Cox’s Bazar from January 2017 to June 2022
  • 28,389 Rohingya refugees/FDMN and host community people received free medical care in Bhashan Char, Noakhali since 2020

Meet Medical Officer for HAEFA’s Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Project, Cox’s Bazar,
Tasnim Jahan Toma

Dr. Tasnim Jahan Toma, born in Sylhet and raised in Comilla, worked as a general physician in different community clinics throughout Comilla after graduating from medical school. Inspired by her parents, who were also healthcare providers, she always made an effort to bolster women’s health. She joined HAEFA’s cervical cancer screening team in June 2021 and currently works in three health centers in the Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar while concurrently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree from North South University. Dr. Toma’s responsibilities include training midwives and SSNs for VIA testing as well as supervising them in regards to decision-making about diagnosis and further management of screened patients. She herself diagnosed seven instances of cervical cancer last year, and is still in contact with all of the patients. 

A challenging part of this role for Dr. Toma is the mode of transportation she utilizes in order to get to the workplaces. For example, to reach the remote island of Kutubdia UHC – where residents only have electricity from 6 PM-10 PM – she has to take a three-hour speedboat ride from the mainland, and this becomes very risky during the monsoon season. Regardless, at the end of the day, Dr. Toma finds solace in the smiles on the faces of her patients as their blessings and prayers make her days more meaningful.

Meet Medical Officer for HAEFA’s Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Project, Cox’s Bazar,
Dr. Rubaiya Shafrin

Dr. Rubaiya Shafrin grew up in Dhaka where she completed her elementary and high school education. She then graduated from Rajshahi Medical College and, afterwards, worked as an internal medicine medical officer at a very renowned hospital in Dhaka for a few months. Attracted to HAEFA’s dedication to provide for the underserved communities of Bangladesh, 

Dr. Shafrin, who joined in June 2021, supervises cervical cancer screening in four health centers of three of Cox’s Bazar’s Upazila Health Complexes (UHC),  where she oversees patient diagnosis and decision-making about further treatment and manages infectious diseases related to female genitalia, including vaginal candidiasis, in cases where on-the-spot diagnosis is possible. Dr. Shafrin has always made an effort to communicate and connect with her patients to understand their perspectives, and finds it very rewarding to help people with a complicated illness like cervical cancer. Her future plans include postgraduate studies in internal medicine and she looks forward to devoting her time to the betterment of humanity. Dr. Shafrin aims to remain a part of HAEFA for as long as possible because she strongly values the work ethics and goals that our organization embodies.

HAEFA Contributes to the Well-Being of Rohingya FDMN/Refugees

HAEFA healthcare workers have been providing free medical care and medicine to the Rohingya FDMNs since its establishment. In the month of June, more than 5,200 individuals received free medical care from HAEFA. 

Kutupalong (Camp 1W):

  • More than 2,920 patients visited Camp 1W in Kutupalong and received healthcare services.
  • 167 laboratory tests were conducted at the NCD Path Lab

Balukhali (Camp 09):

  • More than 1,800 patients visited Camp 09 in Balukhali and received healthcare services.
  • 181 laboratory tests were conducted at the NCD Path Lab

FDMN Rohingya Camp at Bhashan Char:

  • More than 1,800 patients visited the HAEFA Medical Check-Up and Treatment for FDMN Rohingya Camp at Bhashan Char and received healthcare services.
  • HAEFA’s physician, pharmacist and paramedic are also supporting the only 20-bed hospital in Bashan Char by doing morning and evening roster duties to take care of the admitted patients.

HAEFA Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment in Kurigram and Cox’s Bazar

Cervical cancer kills 6,582 women annually in Bangladesh, where the diagnosis rate is 2-3 times higher than the U.S., and hosts a mortality rate that is five times higher. HAEFA has implemented a “See-and-Treat” Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment program to reduce these numers, using mobile (digital) colposcopy and thermocoagulator.

  • In Kurigram District, HAEFA provided over 3,360 women with cervical cancer screenings conducted in 9 Upazila Health Complexes (UHCs) and 6 camps. 22 patients were found VIA positive through the initial screening test and referred for further investigation and treatment.
  • In Cox’s Bazar District, more than 3,480 women were screened in 7 VIA Centers (Sadar Hospital, MCWC, Ramu UHC, Moheshkhali UHC, Chakaria UHC, Pekua UHC and Kutubdia UHC) and 11 VIA camps in the respective Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar. All cases that tested positive through the initial VIA screening were referred for further investigation. Our team followed up with the patients and organized a second VIA screening test and colposcopy in Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital, where both colposcopy and thermocoagulation were performed. The Cox’s Bazar Project team also followed up with previously identified cancer patients and referred them to Chattogram Medical College and the National Institute of Cancer Research & Hospital (NICRH), Mohakhali, Dhaka for further treatment.

Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

In June 2022, World Health Organization (WHO) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Working Group hosted a training session on the Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) for health care providers in Cox’s Bazar. HAEFA member Jahidul Islam attended this conference and learned how to clinically manage rape cases and treat IPV sufferers, as well as adopted valuable guidelines including “LIVES” (Listen, Inquire, Validate, Enhance safety and Support) and maintaining survivors’ privacy and gaining their trust. HAEFA stands united against any kind of sexual violence, and we aim to do our utmost best for those who have faced such distressing situations by enhancing our members’ skills and improving our services in whatever way we can.

Donate to Support Our Cause!

HAEFA is constantly in need of donations to support the Rohingya FDMN (Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals) healthcare and COVID-19 relief efforts. Any support, whether donations, outreach, aid in collaboration from personal and professional involvement, or any other method of support to HAEFA and its underprivileged, underserved and displaced beneficiaries would be greatly appreciated! All donations to HAEFA are tax-deductible as allowed by the laws of the United States.

HAEFA’s Tax Identification Number (EIN): 46-2997707
NTEE: Public Health Program (E70)
Text-to-Donate: 53-555 (Keyword: HAEFA)

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