A DOCTOR from Menston is helping to fight a deadly outbreak of diphtheria in Bangladesh.

With 160 new cases being reported every day the UK sent a 40-strong emergency medical team out to Cox’s Bazaar at the end of December to help combat the disease.

But Nina Goldman was already working with Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar when the first cases started to appear.

Dr Goldman, who is a former pupil of Menston Primary and Guiseley School, has been on her first assignment for MSF, Doctors Without Borders, for more than two months.

Her work at the Kutupalong clinic led to her dealing with the first case of diphtheria she had ever encountered.

Writing on the MSF website she said: "Diphtheria is a disease of the past in most countries given you can vaccinate against it and treat it. It was a disease that I had been taught at medical school and not one I ever thought I would see in person over the course of my career."

Dr Goldman was away from the Kutupalong clinic when the first case was diagnosed – but a week later she was there when the second case – a boy - arrived. The medical team did everything they could to save his life – but despite initially showing signs of improvement he died of heart failure.

From that moment medics started to see a constant stream of two cases a day – a number which began to increase rapidly.

The Kutupalong clinic was already overflowing with patients even before the emergency, and so a new isolation ward has now been set up at the Balukhali camp.

Even before diphtheria took hold medics were facing a challenging task.

Writing on the MSF website before the outbreak Dr Goldman said: "I think it would be impossible not to be shocked by the true scale of the crisis and the sheer number of people who have arrived in Bangladesh."

She added: "One of the most challenging things has been seeing the degree of malnutrition in the children presenting to the clinic.

"This is not something I have really seen before and seeing so many children die due to complications from lack of access to food is very hard to deal with. But we are working hard to improve our facilities for children with severe acute malnutrition."

She stressed: “I would like to thank all the people donating money to MSF as it is helping to provide essential help ranging from emergency healthcare to mental health care to water and sanitation to unbelievably vulnerable people around the world."

More than 600,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since August and are living in makeshift camps.