MOAS launched operations in Bangladesh on the 3rd of September 2017 and immediately conducted an in-depth needs assessment of the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Recognising an acute food shortage, MOAS initially used the Phoenix to deliver 40 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the Bangladeshi government. Our local team then established two Aid Stations, or primary health centres, to serve the expanding refugee camps and their host communities.
The first MOAS Aid Station was launched in October 2017 in the fishing village of Shamlapur, while the second was opened in November 2017 to serve the remote settlement of Unchiprang; both are located in the Teknaf region of Bangladesh, close to the border with Myanmar. Our dedicated doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists treated over 90,000 people to the end of November 2018. Reflecting the huge number of children living in the refugee camps, over 40% of our patients were under 18.
In 2019, MOAS we focused on delivering specialist Flood and Water Safety training to volunteer first-responders and other NGOs in Cox’s Bazar, as well as developing Mobile Medical Teams that can respond to emergencies in hard-to-reach areas. Our operational shift reflects a recognition that building the capacity of refugee communities to manage life-saving emergency response systems during the monsoon season remains a key priority in the camps.