One of the worst refugee crises in recent years has been that facing the Rohingya. Thousands have fled their homes in Myanmar following a horrific campaign of violence which started in August 2017.
Over 600,000 Rohingya sought refuge in Bangladesh, and the majority are still living in camps there until it is safe enough to return.
As with any crisis situation, the provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare is essential, and IPPF clinics and local organizations on the ground have helped ensure that these needs do not go unmet.
We spoke to 25-year-old Rehana Begum who is 8 months pregnant with three small children in tow. She was one of the hundreds of thousands forced to leave home amidst the crisis. Heavily pregnant and exhausted, her and her family walked for 15 days to reach safety in Bangladesh.
Rehana visited an IPPF health clinic for a check-up and was provided with antenatal care. This was the first time during any of her pregnancies that she has had any medical attention.
Before attending the clinic Rehana was unaware of family planning as a way to plan future pregnancies. “I was not aware of family planning methods earlier,” she told us. “I am happy to know that I have options in terms of controlling my family size. I would definitely want to adopt a family planning method after my delivery”.
Delivering essential healthcare
Working with local organizations, IPPF’s focus is on delivering sexual and reproductive healthcare to the camp.
Women and girls make up 94% of clinic visits, with 77% of total visitors who received sexual healthcare under 25-years-old.
Field teams have been mobilized to create awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and birth control methods. IPPF has partnered with various local agencies for provision of these services as well as distribution of the kits and medical supplies.