MSF staff looking out the Jamtoli refugee camp in Cox Bazar


Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are living in Bangladesh after fleeing targeted violence in Myanmar.

Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh has hosted Rohingya refugees fleeing targeted violence in neighbouring Myanmar's Rakhine state since 1978. The latest violence, which began in August 2017, has provoked an unprecedented exodus, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to live in camps with deteriorating conditions. Around 860,000 Rohingya refugees live over a surface of 26 square kilometres.

At present, we are providing medical care in two districts: Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar, while working to maintain our regular medical response. The current intervention in Cox’s Bazar started in 2009 when Kutupalong field hospital was established to serve both refugees and the local community.

In August 2017, we scaled up activities and now run nine health facilities across Cox’s Bazar district, including three hospitals, three primary health centres and two specialised clinics. 

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams are responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.


Why are we here?

Our activities in 2021 in Bangladesh

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.

MSF IN BANGLADESH IN 2021 In Bangladesh, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) runs healthcare programmes for refugees in Cox’s Bazar, who fled recurrent targeted violence in Rakhine State by the Myanmar military, and for vulnerable communities in Dhaka’s slums.

In 2021, we also supported the COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 emergency response
Between July and October, we set up and ran an emergency 16-bed COVID-19 treatment centre for people with moderate-to-severe symptoms. MSF also supported the only government-run vaccination campaign in a refugee setting in Bangladesh, and assisted with staff recruitment and training.

Cox’s Bazar
Across 10 facilities, we provide a range of specialist healthcare to address some of the vast health needs of more than 920,000 Rohingya refugees living in the camps, as well as a growing number of patients from the host community. Services include general healthcare, treatment of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, emergency care for trauma patients and women’s healthcare. We also upgraded water and sanitation in the camps.

In 2021, our teams continued to witness the medical consequences of deteriorating camp conditions. Dire water and sanitation services, fires, flooding and movement restrictions all affect the ability of Rohingya to live in dignity. MSF is the largest provider of specialist psychiatric care for people suffering from severe mental health conditions, such as psychosis and anxiety disorders, which often stem from living in the camp environment and a sense of hopelessness about their future.

During the year, we handed over some of our activities to local organisations, including an extensive water network powered by solar energy.

We run two clinics in Kamrangirchar district, in the capital, Dhaka, offering reproductive healthcare, and medical and psychological treatment for victims of sexual and gender-based violence.

We also provide occupational health services, which include treatment for workers diagnosed with diseases linked to their work environment, as well as preventive care and risk assessment in factories. Our medical assistance is tailored to the needs of people working in extremely hazardous conditions.

IN 2021

MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Karsten Noko in Bangladesh
Rohingya Refugee Crisis

“Lives in limbo”: a new challenge as Karsten Noko heads to Bangladesh

Patient and Staff Stories 20 Dec 2022
MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Rohingya refugee fleeing into Bangladesh
Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Five years on, three generations of Rohingya talk about their past, present and future

Patient and Staff Stories 18 Aug 2022
A young child with scabies at MSF’s Hakimpara clinic in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Unprecedented increase of scabies cases in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps

Press Release 16 Mar 2022
A picture of MSF assessment team outside the burnt camp in Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh
Internally Displaced People

Bangladesh: Cox's Bazar Refugee Camp in flames

Press Release 23 Mar 2021
MSF Mental Health Centre in Kutapalong Hospital
Mental Health

Bangladesh: Rohingya communities at breaking point

Patient and Staff Stories 25 Jan 2021
Mental Health

Living in limbo: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh three years after the main exodus

Latest News 25 Aug 2020