$20 million Saudi hospital ships heal sick in rural Bangladesh

$20 million Saudi hospital ships heal sick in rural Bangladesh

The five hospital ships are all named after King Abdullah. (Supplied)

Updated 13 sec ago


March 15, 2023

  • Five vessels equipped with operating theaters will treat 350,000 people a month in rural communities

DHAKA: Five floating hospitals will ply the waterways of Bangladesh from June in a $20 million Saudi-funded project to provide healthcare to impoverished communities.

A third of the country is under water most of the time and many regions are accessible only by river. Few of these rural areas have medical facilities and the five hospital ships, all named after King Abdullah, will save lives.

“Our people are ready and we have already trained our staff. Everything is ready. I hope the first two ships will float by June or even before,” said Runa Khan, executive director of Friendship, the NGO that will operate the vessels.

“All the ships will be named after King Abdullah. They will run as King Abdullah Friendship Hospital 1-5.”

The largest of the five vessels, King Abdullah Hospital 1, is 31 meters long, and has an operating theater for general surgical operations and a separate theater for eye surgery. The other four ships will be 25 meters long, and will provide primary healthcare and minor procedures.

The hospital ships will run on the Padma River, the Meghna River in the northeastern district of Sunamganj, and in the southeastern regions of Hatiya. Each ship, supported by mobile clinics on land, will treat up to 350,000 people every month.

The ships will visit areas lacking medical facilities and where many cannot afford proper healthcare. “We do this almost free of cost. The charge is less than 10 US cents,” Khan said.

“They can’t go to healthcare facilities. Healthcare has to reach them. With the river system, we can reach these people easily.”

source https://www.arabnews.com/node/2268836/saudi-arabia

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