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Dhaka Tribune

Covid-19 fails to hinder community clinic services

Number of patients at the community clinics has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic

Update : 09 Jun 2020, 07:07 PM

Community clinics are playing an important role in containing the spread of coronavirus as these clinics are providing healthcare services in the country’s rural areas.

The number of service-seekers is also surging during the current coronavirus pandemic as the people with mild fever and cold are rushing there for consultations.

The community clinic healthcare providers (CHCPs) said their health workers are continuing to give advices to the people to stem transmission of the deadly disease.

“We’re suggesting all to follow health guidelines issued by the health directorate if they feel sick. We’re also asking them to stay at their home and safe, not go out of houses unnecessarily,” a healthcare provider said.

The CHCPs said the number of patients at the community clinics has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic than the normal time as they get panicked to go to other government hospitals.

So they are receiving treatment at the community clinics if they suffer from common diseases, they said.

Line director of Community Based Healthcare (CBHC) Dr Sohadev Chandra Rajbangshi said that health workers are rendering medical services to the rural people regularly with courage to prevent the Covid-19 situation.

On the basis of the World Health Organisation (WHO), he said, the guidelines on providing services by the clinic workers during the pandemic have already been posted online.

Besides, they were imparted training on collecting samples from the possible Covid-19-infected marginalized people.

Dr Sohadev said moreover the CHCPs are working at the field level to identify the possible Covid-19 patients through digital screening and collecting data.

Lipon Kumar Sarkar, who came to Kusambi Community Clinic of Tarash upazila in Sirajganj, to receive treatment, said he has been suffering from fever, cold and cough for the last few days.

“It’s not possible for me to go to upazila health complex, which is 14 kilometres away from my village. Moreover, the people have been asked to maintain social distancing during this corona period,” he said.

Lipon said the patients from many places go to the government hospital and they may carry the virus. 

“So, I’ve come to the community clinic adjacent to my home and we get free medicines alongside the services,” he added.

Kusambi Community Clinic Healthcare Provider Amrita Pramanik said the people with simple fever, cold and cough do not go to the district and upazila hospitals due to coronavirus panic.

“For this, village people come to us. Previously on an average, 30-40 patients visit the community clinic, but now the number has been doubled,” he said.

Pramanik said PPE, masks and hand gloves have been given to them to provide services to the patients during this pandemic. “We’re giving services to the patients carefully and we received training on how the patients will be provided services during the corona time,” he said.

Jessore District Civil Surgeon Dr Sheikh Abu Shahin said all of the community clinics of the district remain opened which regularly provide healthcare services.

Besides arrangements have been made so that the patients get medicines properly free of cost, and directives have been given to all to be made aware about coronavirus and follow health codes in this regard.

According to CBHP, the number of visits of the service-seekers to the community clinics till 2020 from 2009 is over one billion. 

Among them, over 23.2 million urgent and complicated patients were referred to hospitals for better treatment. The number of normal delivery in the clinics during the period was more than 85,000.

Line director of Community Based Healthcare (CBHC) Dr Sohadev Chandra Rajbangshi said arrangements will be made in these clinics in future to diagnose diseases like diabetes.

Receiving general health services or 30 types of medicines free of cost from the clinics are a big achievement for the rural people, he said.

The entire world is now confounded due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. In this situation, community clinic workers are not sitting idle. They are trying their best to render healthcare services to the people.

Officials familiar with the programme said currently, medicare services are being provided from 13,861 community clinics. Besides, there is a plan of establishing 4,000 more clinics by 2022 to bring more grassroots people under the healthcare facilities.

They said initially the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in its 1996-2001 tenure launched the community clinic project to set up 18,000 clinics to reach healthcare services to the grassroots level.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first community clinic at Patgati of Tungipara in Gopalganj district on April 26 in 2000.

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