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Emergency response training and provision of emergency response kits to Rohingya community leaders: an approach to local disaster risk reduction and community resilience
  1. Mir Saaduddin Ahmad1,
  2. Najeeb Rahman2
    1. 1 ZABS Medical Services, Dhaka, Bangladesh
    2. 2 Doctors Worldwide, Stockport, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Mir Saaduddin Ahmad, ZABS Medical Services, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh; dr.msahmad{at}

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    Sprawled along the southeast coastal belt of Bangladesh, the Rohingya camps, with a population of >700 000, is now the largest collection of refugee camps in the world. The region, located where the foothills of the Himalayas meet the Bay of Bengal at the Ganges Delta, is a vulnerable and high-risk area for natural disasters, especially with the upcoming monsoons. In August 2017, Bangladesh had seen a resurgence in the Rohingya crisis with wave after wave of migrants being forcibly displaced from neighbouring Myanmar/Burma. Campsites, with hurriedly built shelters, were built on top of hills to allow for a centralised access to these communities. The resultant deforestation coupled with the lag end of the monsoon season saw numerous landslides, flash floods and disease outbreaks that took their toll on the migrants.

    The sheer scale of the migration took everybody by surprise. Both the Bangladesh government and the International Aid Community have struggled to cope with the influx of so many people in such a short space of time. Despite the challenges, they have managed to coordinate the provision of basic care that this community so desperately needs.

    We have been present and active in Bangladesh since December 2017 as part of a project run by Doctors Worldwide, a UK-based medical charity, looking at high-impact outcomes in resource-deprived settings. Our primary objective …

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    • Contributors MSA and NR were responsible for conceptualizing the Emergency Response Kit. MSA delivered the training to the Rohingya community. MIS and SA were part of the field logistics team in Bangladesh. GV was part of the project coordination team in the UK.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Patient consent Not required.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

    • Collaborators Doctors Worldwide Emergency Response Kit Team: Malgorzata Iwona Suraj; Sayeed Ahmed; Georgia Venner.