Burden of Obstetric Fistula on the Rohingya Community in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Since August 2017, a massive infl ux of over 800,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The Rohingya state is one the poorest states in Myanmar, with ghetto-like camps and a lack of basic services and opportunities. In 1982, a new citizenship law was passed, effectively rendering the Rohingya stateless. As a result of this law, their rights to access health services have been restricted. Now, many Rohingya are living in Cox’s Bazar in tent-based refugee camps under extremely poor conditions without access to proper medical care, hygiene, sanitation, food or education.
Lack of proper maternal health care, together with early marriage, malnutrition, poverty and the physical characteristics of the women in this community (small body shapes), exposes Rohingya women to a very dangerous position with high chances of developing obstetric fi stula during childbirth. HOPE Hospital provides clinical care for women affected with obstetric fi stula and is the only provider and referral center of fi stula care in the region. Since the infl ux began, many fi stula repairs have been carried out on Rohingya women at HOPE Hospital. This paper looks at fi stula care and the psychosocial impact of fi stula on victims in the refugee population, amid a massive humanitarian crisis.
Keywords: obstetric fi stula, psychosocial impact of fi stula, Rohingya maternal health.
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