As thousands of Rohingyan refugees enter Bangladesh, Samaritan's Purse is serving in Jesus' Name to help a partner hospital meet growing surgical needs.
Since August more than 655,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar, and many of these refugees are critically injured and in need of complex surgical procedures.
We are helping to care for these desperate people by sending personnel and equipment to increase the capacity of Memorial Christian Hospital, our long-time partner in Bangladesh.
Shanna’s six-month-old son Mohammed was one recent Rohingya patient whose life was saved within hours of arriving at the hospital.
A small cut on Mohammed’s head had turned into a dangerous infection after 15 days of walking through the jungle.
By the time they reached Bangladesh, Mohammed’s head had swollen to nearly twice its normal size and the infection had spread throughout his body.
“The reason I was coming to Bangladesh was to give him a better life, and I thought he was going to die,” said Shanna, who was sent by doctors in the refugee camp to the hospital. There medical personnel cleaned the wound and treated Mohammed with antibiotics.
“Little by little he is getting better. I thank these people and I thank God,” Shanna said.
The Need Is Great
On Dec. 7 Samaritan’s Purse used our DC-8 aircraft to deliver 20 tons of surgical equipment and medical supplies to the hospital. We also have provided funding for construction of two wards for the hospital’s Rohingya Care Unit. One ward is now fully operational with 24 beds. A second ward of that size is being outfitted.
In addition, we have supplied a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) of nurses to assist hospital surgical teams treating critically injured Rohingya. Many injuries require extensive orthopedic procedures followed by around-the-clock post-operative care.
“As the Rohingya continue to cross the border we are seeing a growing number of traumatic injuries that require surgical care,” said Megan Vitek, Samaritan’s Purse medical coordinator for our response to the Rohingya crisis. “They’re facing a lot of surgical needs so our role in this partnership with the hospital is to support and expand their surgical capacity.”
Since August the hospital has treated victims of gunshot wounds, landmine explosions, and other injuries from conflict.
A number of cases have included untreated infections that formed dangerous abscesses or improperly treated injuries that required correction.
Now the list of injuries is growing as we see victims of automobile accidents, fires, wild animal attacks, and accidents inside the city-sized camp of more than 655,000 Rohingya refugees.
Memorial Christian Hospital is strategically located to provide top-level medical care to this unreached people group who desperately need the hope found only in Jesus Christ.
“We are the only hospital in this area providing the kind of complex surgical care the Rohingya need,” said surgeon Stephen Kelley, a hospital staff member.
“God is bringing to us a crisis and an opportunity like we’ve never seen, and through our long-time partnership with Samaritan’s Purse we are receiving the equipment and people we need to respond.”
For many Rohingya this is the first time they have seen a doctor, and it’s also the first time in months or even years they have slept in a safe place and experienced the kindness of strangers.
DART nurse Ann Galgano said providing compassionate care is allowing the hurting Rohingya to heal physically and emotionally.
“I wish I could turn back time for these people,” she said. “And though I can’t turn back time for them I can enter into their story and their suffering and be a part of their healing.”
Please pray for these displaced people that God would use our medical teams and the hospital surgical staff to heal the critically ill and injured and show many the love of Christ.