Doctor Hasan, a UNHCR Public Health Officer, was working in Kutupalong settlement in Bangladesh when he received a phone call from the reception centre saying ‘please come’.

“I rushed over there and found a young man carrying a basket wrapped with a cloth,” Dr Hasan says.

“I asked him to remove the cloth and I saw two tiny babies inside. They were twins.”

At the beginning of the Rohingya crisis in August 2017, thousands of people poured into Bangladesh each day. Men, women and children walked for weeks to escape conflict in Myanmar, arriving malnourished, injured and traumatised.

The mother of the twins had gone into labour while crossing the jungle from Myanmar. She arrived in Bangladesh scared and exhausted.

With the support of donors, these newborns and their mother received treatment at a UNHCR-funded healthcare centre in Bangladesh. ©UNHCR/V. Tan

Dr Hasan was on the ground helping to deliver healthcare to thousands of new Rohingya refugee arrivals when he was called to come and assess the mother and her newborns.

The mother didn’t have food, she didn’t have anything. She was very sick. That struck me a lot,” says Dr Hasan.

“I felt both shock and pity. Pity for the mother that she could not deliver in a dignified way. But shocked, too, at seeing the condition the parents were in and, of course, the babies themselves.”

The family was taken immediately to the maternity unit of a UNHCR-funded primary healthcare centre. The babies’ umbilical cords were cleaned and clamped and the mother received food supplements and medical care.

“My best day was the following day, when I got to see them again,” Dr Hasan says.

“The twins were wrapped in a nice towel, and the mother was smiling. She felt secure and safe. Not for herself, but for her kids, so that made me very satisfied and happy.

“I was also very thankful to God that I could do something for the mother.

Doctor Taimur Hasan has worked with UNHCR for 15 years. He currently provides healthcare to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. ©UNHCR/R.Arnold

“In this job I find I come across a lot of people with many needs and, when I can do something for them, it gives me great satisfaction.”

Thanks to your generous support, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh can access life-saving medical care at 22 UNHCR-funded healthcare centres and 22 nutrition centres.

But as the torrential rains and gale-force winds of the monsoon season continue, providing healthcare for more than 720,000 refugees remains a challenge. The threat of waterborne disease outbreaks remain high in the crowded makeshift settlements, with children and the elderly particularly at risk.

Please protect vulnerable Rohingya refugees from waterborne diseases this monsoon season
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