BANGLADESH’S COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINICS BECOME ROLE MODEL FOR WORLD
Sheikh Hasina asks local people to protect & maintain community health clinics
Noting that the country’s community health clinic services have become a role model across the globe, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the countrymen to protect and maintain the community health clinics in the country so that these could run properly.
“I’ll urge the local people to give special attention so that these community clinics could run properly as these clinics are engaged in rendering healthcare services,” she said at a function at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
The PM was addressing the function marking the distribution of laptops and certificates to the seven best community clinics at national level and the inauguration of extension programme of web-based healthcare services and information management in community clinics.
She said: “Protection and maintenance of these community clinics are the responsibility of the local people and we hope, they will perform their responsibility properly.”
Chaired by PM’s Health and Social Welfare Advisor Dr Syed Modasser Ali, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Capt (rtd) Mozibur Rahman Fakir, Health Secretary MM Niaz Uddin, WHO Representative in Bangladesh Dr Thushara Fernando also spoke on the occasion.
The Project Director of Revitalization of Community Healthcare Initiatives in Bangladesh (Community Clinic), Makhduma Nargis gave the address of welcome at the function.
Sheikh Hasina said that to materialize the dream of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Awami League government in its previous term took the decision to set up some 18,000 community clinics across the country.
But, she alleged, the BNP-Jamaat alliance government stopped the activities of these community clinics. She said: “They (BNP-Jamaat) thought if these community clinics could run their operations, then nobody would vote them; rather would vote for Awami League. It is not in my knowledge whether any political personality could suffer from such kind of meanness.”
The Prime Minister said that after assuming office this time, her government undertook the ‘Revitalization of Community Healthcare Initiatives in Bangladesh’ project under which some 10,624 community clinics have been reopened.
“Several thousand community clinics and union health centers have been newly established and so far, some 15,000 community health clinics and health centers have been opened.”
Besides, she added, some 13,240 community healthcare providers have been appointed and provided three months’ training so that they could render primary healthcare services.
Hasina noted that due to the various services like maternal health and family planning services, health and family planning education and counseling, detection of diseases like EPI, malaria, pneumonia, influenza provided by the community clinics, safe motherhood has been ensured. As a result, the maternal mortality rate has dropped to 194 from 320 per 100,000 according to the 2010 survey.
She also observed that ensuring health and nutrition for the people is very much essential as food security and healthcare services would have to be ensured to build a healthy nation.
The PM said that the introduction of extension programme of web-based healthcare services and information management in community clinics would take the nation one step further towards building ‘Digital Bangladesh’ as through this initiative, people could take healthcare services sitting at their homes through the internet.
She said laptops would be provided to all community clinics in phases and these clinics would be made sources of information for their respective areas, containing information of all patients including mother and children.
Highlighting various steps taken by her government to develop the country’s health sector, she mentioned adopting National Health Policy 2011, upgrading all upazila health complexes to 50-bed and district hospitals to 250-bed, increasing the number of government hospitals to 592 from 568, establishment of 300-bed Institute of Neuroscience and Hospital at Agargaon, Sheikh Naser Specialized Hospital in Khulna, world class eye hospital in Gopalganj, women and children diabetic hospital, 500-bed general hospitals at Kurmitola and Khilgaon in the capital, introducing ‘maternal health voucher scheme’ and ‘lactating mother allowance’, and turning the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University into a center of excellence.
Hasina also mentioned that the poverty rate in the country has now decreased to 26 percent from 41 percent due to the relentless efforts of the government while some 5 crore people have graduated to middle class from the lower class.