Progressing steps towards healthcare: services provided by HAEFA in Bangladesh

  • 63,447 women (30-60 years) were screened for the detection of early-stage cervical cancer in 9 Upazilas of Kurigram from Nov. 2019 – Feb. 2023
  • 41,239 women (30-60 years) were screened for the detection of early-stage cervical cancer in 6 Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar from July 2021 – February 2023
  • 264,465 Rohingya refugees/FDMN in Ukhiya and Bangladeshi nationals living in the surrounding Ukhiya Upazila (sub-district)  received free medical care in Cox’s Bazar from October 2017 to February 2023
  • 45,825 Rohingya refugees/FDMN in Bhashan Char and Bangladeshi nationals living on the island have received free medical care in Bhashan Char, Noakhali, since November 2020
  • More than 3,860 Bangladeshi nationals in Ukhiya received free medical services from the Mobile Medical Clinics of HAEFA since 2022. 
  • A total of 9,670 Diagnostic Lab Tests have been performed at HAEFA’s NCD-based Path Lab in camp 09 since January 2022. 
  •  More than 6,000 Healthcare providers were trained under the TOT program for Mental Health Support and Resilience Training in collaboration with Project HOPE
  • More than 3,000 physicians received the Advanced COVID-19 Clinical Management Certification online at the DGHS, MoHFW website. This course collaborates with DGHS, Brown University CHRHS, Project HOPE, HAEFA, USAID, and SCiB.
  • More than  40 students from classes six to twelve at  (Bhawal Mirzapur Hazi Jamir Uddin School And College) received annual merit scholarships from 2019 till to date. This is a collaboration between HAEFA and M A Malek Education Scholarship Foundation.
  • COVID-19 Relief Effort for Underprivileged people : HAEFA Provided a two-week supply of food packages for more than 1,500 families (5 members/family) in 5 districts of Bangladesh in 2021-2022.

Opening Ceremony of the Cervical Cancer Screening Training and Research Center at DMCH

Cervical cancer is one of the most major health concerns in Bangladesh with a staggering 12,000 new cases and 6,000 deaths reported each year. With the aim to become the regional training hub for cervical cancer in Bangladesh, providing training to service providers from various districts and upazilas of the country, the Cervical Cancer Screening Training and Research Center of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), was inaugurated on February 20th, 2023.

The opening ceremony was graced by esteemed guests, including the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Professor Dr. Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam (DG), and Additional Director General (Administration), Professor Dr. Ahmedul Kabir (ADG), who joined in the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially launch the center. The event was also attended by Dr. Nazmul Haque, Director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), Professor Dr. Shafiqul Alam Chowdhury, Principle of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), Head of Department of Gynae & Obs. Gynae Oncology, Professor Dr. Nazma Haque, and Professor Dr. Fatema Rahman, along with other professors and departmental students. Engr. ATM Zafrul Hassan, Country Director & CEO of Health and Education for All (HAEFA), Dr. Sharmin Sultana Urmi, National Clinical Coordinator of Health and Education for All (HAEFA), Md Shamsuzzaman, Program Analyst, Sexual Reproductive Health of United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), and Dr Fatema Shahjahan, Project Coordinator of United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) were also present at the event, highlighting the importance of this new facility.

The center has also received support from Brown University Global Health Initiative, Health and Education for All (HAEFA), and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s technical facilitators, who are providing their expertise to ensure the success of the center. In addition, these organizations are also involved in capacity building and strengthening public healthcare facilities of cervical cancer in nine upazilas of Kurigram District and six upazilas of Cox’s Bazar District. The center’s primary focus is on capacity building and training of service providers to improve the quality of cervical cancer screening and treatment in Bangladesh. By providing a centralized location for training, the center will be able to offer accessible and effective services to those in need.

Member Spotlight: Meet Ms. Asia Akter Shima, Pharmacist at the Bhashan Char area, Cox’s Bazar, HAEFA Bangladesh!

Since August 2015, Asia Akter Shima has been an integral part of the HAEFA team. She is a Diploma Pharmacist (B-Grade) under the Bangladesh Pharmacy Council, and started her career by working as a pharmacist at HAEFA’s Dhaka-based healthcare project for readymade garment (RMG) factory workers; she later moved on to the Bhashanchar health post in November 2020. Born in Dubail, Delduar, Tangail, Asia had always observed the disparities in healthcare for people belonging to different socioeconomic classes. She realized that despite its importance, healthcare is almost inaccessible or even completely out of reach for many in Bangladesh. Ms. Shima is responsible for dispensing medicine to the FDMN patients based on the doctors’ prescriptions, and she also regularly counsels the patients on the proper dosage and necessary information about their medicines. Besides these, Asia works closely with local authorities, CiC staff members, and staffers of other NGOs to ensure that the FDMN refugees receive the best possible healthcare in Bangladesh. Although tending to patients for hours can be physically and mentally draining at times, Asia deeply cherishes her time at the health post. In the future, Asia hopes, HAEFA will be able to expand its operations significantly. She believes there are many underserved communities throughout Bangladesh whose lives could be changed for the better with HAEFA’s care.

Member Spotlight: Meet Mr. Md. Sohel Rana, Pharmacist of the Ukhiya area, Cox’s Bazar, at HAEFA Bangladesh!

Md. Sohel Rana is a Diploma Pharmacist (B-Grade) under the Bangladesh Pharmacy Council, and has been working at HAEFA since August 2016 as a pharmacist. He had initially joined the healthcare project in Dhaka, which caters to ready-made garment (RMG) factory workers. The influx of Rohingya refugees began in the south in the year after, and in October 2017, he moved to the health post at Cox’s Bazar to serve the newly arrived FDMNs. After three years of working at Cox’s Bazar, he was transferred as a paramedic to the Bhashanchar camp health post in Noakhali, which plays a critical role in providing quality healthcare to the FDMN population in the region. This was in November 2020, and six months later, he returned to HAEFA’s Cox’s Bazar health post. As a pharmacist, Rana’s responsibilities are many: he is responsible for dispensing medicine to the FDMN patients based on the doctors’ prescriptions, and he also regularly counsels the patients on the proper dosage and necessary information about their medicines. Rana says he deeply appreciates the community here, as everyone is tied together by a common love for helping those in need and belief that every human being is entitled to quality healthcare. He is also especially proud of his work at HAEFA, even though the work of dealing with patients can become overwhelming at times, because his interest in medicine had come from the very understanding that the field offers a lot of opportunities to care for those around him.

Newly established health facility corners at Camp 1w

FDMN Cox’s Bazar Rohingya Camp 1w successfully completes the construction of health facility corners including additional corners for family planning, nutrition, breast-feeding and child-playing.

Healthcare for the Rohingya FDMNs/Refugees

HAEFA healthcare workers have provided free medical care and medicine to the Rohingya FDMNs since its establishment in October 2017. In February 2023, more than 7,000 individuals received free medical care and diagnostic services from HAEFA. 

Kutupalong (Camp 1W):

  • More than 2,690 patients visited Camp 1W in Kutupalong and received healthcare services.
  • 154 laboratory tests were conducted at HAEFA’s semi-automated NCD Pathological Laboratory

Balukhali (Camp 09):

  • More than 1,740 patients visited Camp 09 in Balukhali and received healthcare services.
  • 268 laboratory tests were conducted at HAEFA’s semi-automated NCD Pathological Laboratory          

FDMN Rohingya Camp at Bhashan Char:

  • More than 1,990 patients visited the HAEFA Medical Check-Up and Treatment for FDMN Rohingya Camp at Bhashan Char and received healthcare services

HAEFA Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment

  • In Kurigram District, HAEFA provided over 1580 women with cervical cancer screenings conducted in Upazila Health Complexes (UHCs). 22 patients were found VIA positive through the initial screening test and referred for further investigation and treatment.
  • In February 2023, more than 1600 women were screened in 06 VIA centers (Sadar Hospital, MCWC, Ramu UHC, Moheshkhali UHC, Chakaria UHC, Pekua UHC). Twenty-two cases were found positive through the initial VIA screening test and referred for further investigation. The team followed up with them and organized Colposcopy in Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital and Chakaria UHC. Nine Colposcopies were performed at Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital and Chakaria UHC. The Cox’s Bazar Project team also followed up with seven 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.

HAEFA Health Clinic for Host Community

In February, the HAEFA Health Clinic services for the host community were provided on the 23rd and 26th of the month to more than 170 patients, at two different locations, including the Shonarpara High School and AKNC High School, Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, respectively.

HAEFA believes this new chapter of providing healthcare services to the surrounding host community will improve the quality of life and bring bright smiles and hope to the faces of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

Donate to Support Our Cause!

HAEFA is 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)

For more regular updates on the Rohingya refugees and other activities related to our organization, be sure to give us a like on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 


HAEFA Newsletter Editorial Board

Nairita Ahsan Faruqui

Raihana Mehreen
Associate Editor


Dr. Kaniz Ferdouse Mou
Associate Editor


Contributors for the February Newsletter:
Afifa Fabiha and Sajia Haque

Copyright © 2023 Health and Education for All (HAEFA), All rights reserved.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira Extra Text
Cape Town, South Africa