The Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh houses the largest concentration of refugees in the world. More than half a million Rohingya people have fled there from genocide in Myanmar in the past year, usually with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Medical care is non-existent and the refugees rely on organizations like MedGlobal – the group Naperville resident Dr. Anwer Hussain volunteered with.
“I was shocked to find out the atrocities and the people, what they’re going through and MedGlobal was the right group I felt to give me the opportunity with limited commitment but at the same time be able to help out,” said Hussain, an emergency physician.
Hussain and several other medical professionals arrived in April to find a refugee city stretching for miles. The building he worked out of was made of bamboo shoots and his hotel room also served as a storage facility for medical supplies he would be using.
But the challenges didn’t stop there. Communication through translators was helpful, but even that was a struggle.
“These people were cut off from civilization,” said Hussain. “They had no education so if we could put posters about dental care, they couldn’t read. If we had to write prescriptions – well there were no prescriptions, so we had to provide the medications. We couldn’t write the directions.”
After returning home to Naperville, Hussain and other MedGlobal volunteers turned their attention to raising awareness of the Rohingya crisis.
“This is what we’re doing. Trying to talk to as many people as I can, and not only me, everyone who has been there. So we hope by doing so that more people will be interested and we can make some change there. But there’s still, I included, we have to do a lot more.”
For those wishing to help with the Rohingya crisis, donations can be made through MedGlobal on their website, www.medglobal.org/donate.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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