DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — In late July, volunteers from a Bangladeshi charity started getting calls seeking support from people from the country’s vast coastal region that had been flooded for months during this year’s monsoon.
As the floodwaters started receding, the Bidyanondo Foundation quickly decided to hire a tourist boat to provide basic health care for those seeking aid. The country’s coast guards came forward with a route plan for the boat that was eventually turned into a floating hospital called “Jibon Kheya,” or lifeboat.
Authorities reported thousands of cases of waterborne diseases including diarrhea and skin diseases, but getting to a hospital is a problem in the flooded southwestern region. The coronavirus pandemic came as a double blow.