In his 27-year career, Dr. Anowarul Azim has never received a foundation training. After joining MOH&FW as a medicalofficer, Dr. Azim was promoted as Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer (UH&FPO) for Companyganj Upazila,Noakhali in December 2011. He received a post-graduation training in medicine, as well as a six-month clinical training,but no trainings to prepare him to act as an administrator and an upazila leader. As a result, Dr. Azim found his new roleand responsibilities challenging. But his enthusiasm, exposure to USAID-supported Strategic Leadership andManagement Training Program (SLMTP), and support from Upazila Chairman and MaMoni HSS project have helped himin becoming an exemplary leader in his peer group.
When Dr. Azim joined Companyganj UHC, the facility wasunderstaffed and needed many repairs. The facility wasbeing upgraded from a 31-bed to a 50-bed hospital, butsufficient staff and support were not available. Dr. Azimdid not know where to ask for support. After completingthe SLMTP course, Dr. Azim came back with a renewedenthusiasm, and with the help of the Upazila Chairmanand MaMoni HSS project, he began to transform thehealth facility. He mobilized funding from his colleaguesto appoint two cleaners to ensure the cleanliness of thehospital. To ensure round the clock service, Dr. Azimfocused on the duty station, which was unfit for night stay.Dr. Azim mobilized resources from local supporters andrenovated the emergency room, donating an IPS on hisown initiative. In addition, Dr. Azim motivated the Upazila chairman and utilized the Chairman’s network to lobby withthe high authorities to expedite the work for renovating the old hospital into a 50-bed hospital, repairing the washroomsin the female and child wards and installing a tube well to ensure alternative water supply. Dr. Azim also successfullylobbied DGHS to allocate funds for the construction of a boundary wall, approach road, directional signs and entranceand exit gates.
Thanks to his Dr. Azim’s initiative, the hospital is now providing round the clock NVD service and caesarian sections.While the facility had an average of 200–300 outpatient visits per day and 80% bed occupancy, it now attracts anaverage of 450–550 outpatient clients per day with a monthly in-patient rate of 110–115%.
Dr. Azim has also engaged the political leaders, elected public representatives and NGOs with a view to secure theirsupport to realize his vision for improved maternal and child health. “I am prepared to approach everyone who I thinkcan support this hospital", he says. He noted, “I think I have been able to change the mindset of my staff. Now, no onewill go back home without receiving treatment from this hospital.”