KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — The Health Ministry and the Malaysian Armed Forces received a Perak royal award for setting up the Malaysian Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, that served Rohingya refugees.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said he received the “Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy Innovation Award” on behalf of the Health Ministry, together with Lt General Dr Ya’akop Koming, the former DG of the Health Services Division in the Armed Forces, from Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Shah.
“The field hospital has been in operation since December 2017 to ease the stress of the influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
“The Health Ministry, via Op Starlight 1, managed the hospital before it was taken over by the Malaysian Armed Forces on March 2018,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement.
According to the DG, the refugee population in the area was estimated to have reached more than 1.2 million at one stage, most with unmet medical and surgical needs.
“The MFH (Malaysian Field Hospital) is hoped to be continued to ensure that these basic humanitarian needs are served, while providing health care personnel invaluable experience working in challenging conditions in low-resource settings,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
The MFH has received various international accolades, he noted, including from the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).