Chameli Khatun, a resident of Nurpur village under Meherpur Sadar upazila, went to the local community clinic with her infant who was suffering from fever and diarrhoea. The child was soon cured due to the efforts of health workers there.
Chameli did not make any payment to the clinic, rather she received free medicine and consultation and for this, she is grateful to the health workers of the clinic. She is happy knowing that she would not have to go to town for medical treatment any more.
Chameli Khatun is not alone. The community clinics have become citadels for thousands of people of Meherpur Sadar upazila. Among the 26 community clinics in the upazila, 10 are providing this special healthcare. “WASH in health project” of Impact Foundation Bangladesh (IFB) is playing key role behind the activities.
Under the purview of the project, safe drinking water, healthy latrine facility and hand washing system have been improved at the 10 health clinics of Buripota, Pirozpur, Amdah Kutubpur and Amjhupi unions.
The designs of these clinics have special features in a bid to ensure the access of the disabled people in healthcare. The health workers and the family planning assistants of the clinics also received training on primary healthcare and safe childbirth.
Kazi Md Soeb Imran, director of IFB’s “WASH in health project”, said alongside improving health awareness at village level, the improvement works of safe healthcare, nutrition situation and wash system are underway at the community clinics under the project.
Safe drinking water, healthy latrines, facilities of hand washing and arrangement for safe childbirth have been given at the 10 clinics, he said adding that the rest 16 clinics will be come under this WaterAid Bangladesh funded project soon.
WaterAid Bangladesh Programme Manager Imamur Rahman said: “Public health and nutrition of children have a close relation with cleanliness, safe water and sanitation system. If these fundamental facilities won’t be available at the health centres then health risk of the patients will be increased.”
For the sake of the service providers and the receivers, proper personal hygiene would be given highest priority at the health centres. The community clinics are being given these facilities under the “WASH in health project” considering these facts, he said.
The community clinics, which are run by donations of the locals, provide reliable healthcare for the local people, said Md Imadul Islam, president of Pirozpur community clinic executive committee and a union parishad member.
Dr Alok Kumar Das, upazila health and family planning officer, said the government provides 28 to 30 types of medicines and gives salaries of the community clinic workers while the local committee gives the expenditure for clinic management, electricity bill and cleaners.
Every community clinic has a committee which consists a total of 68 members, including 17-member committee group and 51-member committee support group, he said.
He also viewed that the community clinics in Meherpur Sadar upazila are playing extraordinary roles in public healthcare sector and it is becoming possible due to the assistance of WaterAid Bangladesh.