Part 1 2018
When reflecting on my recent visit to Bangladesh to monitor the work of BanglaCymru I did so with a mixture of emotions from happiness and pride to sadness and heart-ache.
Following the medical team’s visit to the Rohingya refugee camp at the end of the year the team in February visited the city of Tangail to hold a cleft camp. Here over a period of three days working from early morning to the early hours of the following day they worked hard and managed to perform an amazing 44 operations.
I visited the BanglaCymru centre every day and it was satisfying to see that the local people appreciate the provision. The morning session is under the care of Dr Dipa, the lady doctor, and the evening session is under the care of our medical co-ordinator, Dr Jishu. The centre is open from 9.00 in the morning until 10.00 at night with a member of our auxiliary staff on duty. If the centre is faced with an emergency case during times when the doctor is not on duty, then it won’t take more than 10 minutes for one of them to reach the centre from home. Our health worker, sponsored by Pontypridd Soroptimists works daily in the surrounding slums and refers many to the centre. Our fortnightly eye clinic is a big success.
One of the most heart-rendering experiences I had during my stay was the story of Diba, a little 9-year-old girl from a very poor family who had suffered 45% burns 11 months previously in the northern part of Bangladesh. It’s a miracle she has survived at all and I was told that she had suffered the most agonising pain for all those months. A local man heard about BanglaCymru and brought her and her parents down to Chittagong where they were accommodated at the centre as they couldn’t afford to stay anywhere else. Following the extensive skin graft operation undertaken by Dr Jishu she was transferred for a week to a general hospital under the care of Dr Jishu. I will never forget her agonising screams when her dressing had to be changed. She’s now back in our centre making a slow recovery.
The Tangail ‘cleft camp’ Diba, the burn patient The ‘medical camp’
We spent two days holding a surgery in an isolated area where there’s no medical provision. During this time, we saw an amazing 250 patients including many with life threatening conditions, so quite a few lives were saved.
All these wonderful achievements would not have been possible without the support and generosity of you, kind people.
PART 2 2018
BANGLACYMRU -ANNUAL REPORT
01.07.2017 – 30.06.2018
It gives me pleasure to send you BanglaCymru’s annual report at the end of the charity’s financial year. As usual, this report is a summary of the messages sent online during the year.
I’m pleased to inform you that our medical centre is a great success. Many patients attend on a daily basis, and are seen by our medical co-ordinator, Dr Jishu and a lady doctor who works there regularly. Our staff include the two doctors, a male nurse from the Hill Track tribe and one to look after the building. We’re very grateful to Pontypridd Soroptomists for continuing to sponsor our health visitor who works in the poor areas not far from our centre.
Again, this year mobile surgeries referred to as ‘medical camps’ were held in extremely poor areas. I was present at one of them during my last trip to Bangladesh earlier this year. Over a hundred patients were seen on that day including some suffering with very serious illnesses. They were all grateful for such a provision and especially when they realised that they didn’t have to pay to see the doctor. Hundreds of patients have been seen in medical camps during the year.
One successful innovation which started during the year is our eye clinic which is held every fortnight. On average 35 patients attend the clinic and all express their gratitude for such facility.
As all of you are aware, our prime mission is to treat patients with a cleft condition and also patients who have suffered serious burns. One poignant experience for the BanglaCymru medical team was visiting the refugee camp of the Rohingha tribe in southern Bangladesh where they came across many cleft patients and gave them a chance of a new life. As the whole world is aware, these people have suffered great atrocities perpetrated by the Myanmar military.
Over a period of ten years BanglaCymru has changed so many lives in this challenging but beautiful country, and this year 84 operations were performed bringing the total since the inception of the charity to 1,295. Since the beginning of the project Beryl Edwards was an enthusiastic supporter and trustee and her death this year has been a great loss. Whilst BanglaCymru exists we will always be thankful to her.
PART 3 – 2018
At the end of 2018 it’s my pleasure to send to you an update on the work of BanglaCymru. During the last few months the medical centre staff went to various slum areas and held what they call ‘medical camps’ and examined scores of patients who couldn’t afford to see a doctor and was given a consultation, diagnosis and often the required medication. Following a trustees meeting in the company of our medical co-ordinator, Dr Jishu, it was decided to hold these medical camps every month in future. One innovative decision which has been success is our fortnightly eye clinic. An eye specialist visits our centre and on average sees 35 patients on every visit. Consequently, his publicising efforts makes people of the area aware of our provisions in Chittagong.
It’s good to report that our lady doctor, Dr Dippa is back working for us following the tragic death of her daughter. She’s a great asset to the centre when she works with our female health worker to focus on women’s health issues.
This is a patient seen a week after his operation which we don’t see often. (The black spot is painted on most young children as a symbol preventing the devil from entering the young soul).
Our prime mission, as you’re aware, is to offer plastic surgery mostly for those born with the cleft condition. The total operations performed since the creation of the project 10 years ago is now 1,311. Eleven were performed during the last 3 weeks.