Project/Icons / advocateProject/Icons / appealsProject/Icons / blog postProject/Icons / documentsProject/Icons / educateProject/Icons / healthProject/Icons / media releaseIcons/moneyIcons/moneyx2Project/Icons / petitionIcons/Ionic/Social/social-pinterestProject/Icons / protectProject/Icons / quoteProject/Icons / supportProject/Icons / volunteerProject/Icons / water

A helping hand to stand

03 July 2023, Impact of Our Work

Specialist partnership helps Rohingya father recover from stroke

When Hassan from Myanmar suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk, Save the Children literally carried him to get the care he needed.  

As a construction worker living in sprawling Cox’s Bazar, where 1.24 million refugees are packed into makeshift settlements, Hassan, his wife and three children already had their fair share of challenges. But when Hassan suffered a stroke on the job, things took a very dark turn. 

“I had strong convulsions and fell ill suddenly. When someone tried holding me, they struggled to cope with the pressure of my convulsions and eventually gave up,” Hassan remembers. 

I never imagined that I would be able to walk and stand up again.


Without money for a taxi, Hassan’s family couldn’t take him to the hospital. His neighbours encouraged Hassan to get medical assistance, and in desperation, the father went to a local shaman for help. After spending time and money there, he was still bedridden and in constant pain, with almost no use of his hands. 

Hassan’s stroke left him bedridden, in pain and unable to use his hands. 

Specialist support steps in

Thankfully, Hassan heard about Save the Children’s health facility in the refugee camp just in time. After hearing from Hassan, we quickly sent a team of volunteers to carry him to the clinic on a stretcher. Our skilled clinicians met Hassan and enlisted our partner, Humanity and Inclusion, to do a specialist assessment of his condition.  

Based on the findings, Hassan received a lumbar corset belt to help manage his back and waist pain. He was also provided with a soft mattress and a plastic chair to minimize the extreme pain he felt when lying down.  

A physiotherapist also provided Hassan with a rehabilitation program and the equipment to carry it out, such as a soft ball. The exercises were prescribed to help Hassan regain his fine motor skills, increase the strength and dexterity of his hands, and stimulate the brain to promote its ability to rewire itself. 

Hassan received treatment at our health facility a total of six times. The results have been astounding. Hassan, who was confined to a bed, is now able to stand and walk by himself.  

Hassan is grateful for the support he received to recover from his brain injury. 

A remarkable recovery  

Hassan has fought hard for his recovery and is pleased with the results of his treatment plan, which he has adhered to diligently. "The doctor here advises me to exercise daily. In addition, I received some exercise gear. I have almost fully recovered now by utilising them and keeping up my usual exercise regimen," he says, now smiling and confident.   

However, Hassan is not the only camp resident in need of help. According to a 2019 study, 17% of families in Rohingya refugee households in camps have a temporary disability due to injury primarily brought on by gunshots, shrapnel, fire, or landmines. 12% of families have a family member with a permanent disability. 

That’s why we’re working closely with Humanity and Inclusion to make sure all camp residents can get the help they need. Our partnership is critical in making sure health services meet the needs of all camp residents, no matter what their ability. 

Our network of Health clinics in Cox’s Bazaar was established just after the Rohingya influx in 2017. Since then, thousands of Rohingya refugees have been supported with lifesaving medical assistance by this team of dedicated staff and volunteers. 

Save the Children has partnered with Humanity and Inclusion to make sure people with disabilities living in Cox’s Bazar
get the help they need.

We’re proud that this support now extends to include specialist services for people with disabilities, so we can help hundreds more people just like Hassan. 

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership.


Photos : Rubina Hoque Alee / Save the Children Bangladesh.

Stay up to date on how Save the Children is creating a world where every child has a safe and happy childhood