The health system of Bangladesh is experiencing multiple burdens of diseases, low service coverage, and a lack of effective protection mechanism from financial risk. However, good health and wellbeing is a major means of human development, and an end product of it.
At Badaghat (south) Union Parishad under Biswamvarpur upazila of Sunamganj, the union’s family welfare centre is the only place for locals to avail health services.
Mina Rani Talukdar, a family welfare volunteer of Badaghat (south) Union Family Welfare Centre said, "Earlier, some people used to visit Family Welfare Centre only to collect primary information but now a lot of women, especially during pregnancy, visit the FWC for service, check-up and treatment. We are also serving a large number of adolescent girls from different villages.”
She added, the health centre’s management committee and union parishad bodies regularly visit to help out with materials and emergency support. Mina mentioned that she is very happy to have this support from the UP chairperson and the Upazila Family Planning Officer.
United Nations Development Programme’s Efficient and Accountable Local Government Project, funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), is working to localise the sustainable development goals.
The project educated UP bodies on raising awareness, ensuring health services, caring for adolescents, and undertaking separate schemes for marginalised communities. After the orientation, Union Parishad took initiative to form Family Welfare Centre Management Committee (FWCMC), after conducting needs assessment for better healthcare, monitoring, improvement of service delivery.
Before this intervention by Union Parishad, this facility could not handle any delivery cases due to lack of beds and instruments. Around 30 people would visit every day, but they would have to return without any solutions.
Today, the well-furnished and better-equipped welfare centre is serving 100-120 people every day. It’s handling around six to eight deliveries per month, while providing antenatal and postnatal care to 70-80 patients. It is educating around 200 adolescent girls on sexual and reproductive health.
Chairman Ershad Mia of Badaghat (South) UP said, “The UH&FWC is only center for providing primary healthcare service. Most people of my area are too poor to afford district hospitals. I have seen many women visiting my UP for collecting allowances, and I noticed that many of them are physically weak. That motivated me bring more investment into the welfare centre, make it well-functioning to ensure service to the people.”