Dr Raihan Zannat
Save the Children Bangladesh
Location: Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Occupation: Doctor in Save the Children’s Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC)

Dr Raihan Zannat works in Save the Children’s Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) at the refugee camp in Cos’x Bazar, Bangladesh. Her main responsibilities are to attend to patients who come for both in-patient and out-patient treatment. She attends to about 600 patients every week, from both the Rohingya and host communities.
In Dr Zannat’s own words…
“I came here after completing my studies in the government medical college in Chittagong. After I completed my graduation and internship, I immediately joined the PHCC, just a month later. I see this as a huge opportunity for us, for fresh graduate doctors. There are lots of patients, different varieties and we can enhance our knowledge. What we learned in the medical college we can apply here. Treating casualties – pneumonia cases, pediatric patients and adult patients and chronic cases, all these we dealt in our medical school we can apply here.
In the medical field, there are many senior colleagues who came here and the way they serve the people here, they really improve themselves and also help the patients, the way the treat the patients really influenced me and that’s why I came here, immediately after graduation.
There are a lot of patients with skin diseases. That you usually don’t see in the government hospitals because the patients skin is contaminated and communities are living in densely populated areas.
The people here really need the help. They are more prone to diseases, any kind of diseases. And there is a huge opportunity to gain knowledge and apply.
My day to day is now always busier than when I first started working at the PHCC. More patients come now come to the centre. We attend to the host communities, they also come here. In out-patient treatment (OPT) consultation, we see 190 patients, and we only have two doctors. Each of us cover 80, sometimes 90 patients. In OPT sector here, I come at 8am and continue till 4pm.
When patients come here, they want to see the female doctors, like breast-feeding issues. And any other skin disease, they do not want to share with male doctors. They just come to search for female doctors. Also for maternity. They need do not easily express themselves with male doctors. And they both needed in host community and Rohingya communities as they are conservative. So, they need the female doctors more.
When asked about her most memorable experience, Dr Zannat said,
“One month after I joined, there was patient, a maternity patient. Someone suddenly called saying patient is unconscious after delivering her baby a few ago and we rushed with everyone in the health team had to run block to block to the patient’s house, deep into the camps with the emergency bags, stretcher etc and we found out that patient is already in shock, pulse is high and BP is not recordable and the house floor is all in red with blood.
After the delivery, we have to remove the placenta, maybe they didn’t do that because that delivery happened at home. After I did the pelvic examination, remove the placenta, her BP slowly increase.  We immediately brought the patient out from the camp, and we brought here (PHCC) and we refer her to MSF. MSF said sorry we cannot receive the patient was, because they don’t have the facilities. From there we went to IFRC, who told us, no. After that we got MSF Kutupalong, and after all the hassle, from the camp to all health facilities, we’re with the patient. After all that hassle, she is fine. When we see the patient open her eyes and got talking we’re happy that the patient is fine.