Sharjah Media Corporation has donated Dh3 million to build a brand new hospital in Bangladesh, which will offer a vital lifeline to long-suffering Rohingya refugees.
The 100-bed capacity facility, which will be based in the city of Cox's Bazar in the country, is expected to serve 140,000 refugees – of which nearly 20 per cent are children under the age of 5.
About 900,000 Muslim Rohingya are seeking solace in the country after fleeing their native land in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar to escape starvation, rape and mass murder.
The United Nations has described the ongoing humanitarian crisis as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
The corporation has handed over the cash to The Big Heart Foundation, a Sharjah-based charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need all around the globe.
The hospital, which is being constructed in partnership with Doctors Without Borders, is being set up to provide vital health care in cases of epidemics, mass injuries or natural disasters.
Facilities will also be in place for the monitoring of infectious diseases and 24-hour care will be provided in emergency and intensive care units, paediatric wards, maternity wards, isolation wards, nutrition units and laboratories.
The launch of the hospital will come at a crucial time for the refugees as the aftermath of the Bangladesh monsoon season leaves a wake of destruction in its path.
Heavy rain and landslides are reportedly causing deaths and injuries already and increasing risks of disease outbreak and aid disruptions.
The construction of the hospital, in partnership with Doctors Without Borders, aims to provide health care in cases of epidemics, mass injuries or natural disasters. It will also contribute to the monitoring of infectious diseases and provide 24-hour health care in emergency, intensive care unit, paediatric ward, maternity ward, isolation ward, nutrition unit and laboratories.
The hospital also provides mobile clinics to enhance prevention, increase rapid response rates, and evaluate health conditions for patients who require hospitalisation with a particular focus on health nutrition, improving health-care services for women and children.
"Giving is the essence of Sharjah government institutions' work, it's a noble virtue that has an impact on the various aspects of life. A civilised nation is the one that is capable of standing by the needy, the weak and the patient, to support them into becoming a partner in building the future," said Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, the wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Chairperson of the Big Heart Foundation.
Doctors Without Borders will oversee the hospital and will work with other international and local bodies such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Health Organisation, the International Organisation for Migration and BRAC, an international development organisation based in Bangladesh, dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor.
Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director General of Sharjah Media Corporation said that the institution places social responsibility and humanitarian duty at the top of its professional priorities by providing help to the needy and also partnering with humanitarian institutions.
“We have a moral responsibility towards every refugee in the world. That's our duty towards him and we owe him that,” said Mr Khalaf.
This donation comes a year after a Dh3m donation was made to the heart clinic at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.