Rohingya healing involves diverse providers to meet physical, spiritual, and mental health needs

Health is a vital part of our overall well-being. However, there is often little room to accommodate different understandings of health, illness, the body, and the mind in health care services. These different understandings can lead to miscommunication and frustrated interactions between health care workers and patients. Previous work by CLEAR Global/TWB and other researchers has shown how important the Rohingya culture, language, and worldview is to understanding health and well-being.

To help improve humanitarians’ understanding of Rohingya concepts of health, CLEAR Global interviewed camp residents in Cox’s Bazar who provide informal health care services. Key informants shared their experiences and perspectives relating to culture, language, and health, including the terms they use to talk about health topics.

This report outlines findings from the interviews and provides recommendations to humanitarians on how to use this knowledge to:

  • engage and communicate more effectively with the Rohingya community about health issues and available services.
  • train health care providers to recognize how Rohingya think and talk about symptoms and conditions.
  • recognize the cultural importance of informal health providers and potential ways to work alongside them to improve patient outcomes.