I recently spent two weeks volunteering in Bangladesh with the charity, ‘Refugee Crisis Foundation’ (RCF). A group of four British dentists and two local Bangladeshi dentists provided emergency dental treatment to the refugee population of the Kutupalong camp. The camp houses more than a million Rohingya people, – a minority ethnic group from neighbouring Myanmar – whom have fled their homes, and crossed the border into Bangladesh owing to their persecution there. Most of the refugees have been through the traumatic experiences to flee to safety. One man we met walked for two straight months in order to get Bangladesh. Each refugee we met had a very sad and graphic story. Common themes were centred around torture of loved ones. Sadly, there is no psychological support and people live with these experiences for a lifetime without any professional help.
As the only dental charity with a permanent base in the camp, we saw more than two hundred patients for the duration of our visit. All cases required serious intervention with extraction of teeth being the main treatment that was provided.