Photo: Save the Children/GMB Akash

The Char Kakra Union Health & Family Welfare Center (UH&FWC), opened to public in February 2012, failed to provide the expected services. The facility didn’t have required staff, equipment and drugs. The position of Sub Assistant Community Medical Officer (SACMO) had been lying vacant for months. The facility was gradually turning into a deserted place with garbage and wastes littered all around and thick bushes covering up the front. Things began to change when MaMoni Health system strengthening (MaMoni HSS) project started working here in 2013.

The project team started engaging with the local government leaders, oriented them on MNCHFPN issues and their role in the development of healthcare service. The project team then organized an exposure visit for the Union Parishod Chairman to Hatiya UHC and UH&FWCs. Upazila chairman of Companiganj was also part of the visiting team. The three-day visit opened the eyes of the visiting local government leaders and they came back sensitized and willing to lend their support for the development of maternal and child health situation of their area.

The project also supported with two paramedics for the 24/7 delivery center inaugurated in March 2015 and provided trainings and orientations on AMTSL, IP, ANC, PNC & Labor room protocol, application of CHX, sepsis management, MCH register, FP counseling to the health care providers to ensure the quality of care.

The Upazila chairman as a mark of his commitment, donated a refrigerator and mobilized fund from the UP to install an IPS, pit for medical wastes, generator for alternative electricity support and furniture for the waiting room. UP fund was also used to fix the running water supply, electric connection and clear the bushes from the front and back side of the facility. The Upazila and UP chairman often make surprise visits to the facility and talk to the service seekers that keeps the facility management on their toes. The upazila chairman gives dresses to the newborn as gifts to encourage people to send mothers to the facility for delivery.

Now a days the service providers maintain the IP procedure, provide quality ANC, and PNC, counseling on FP and nutrition; delivery instruments are sterilized with chlorine solution. Different color bins are used for waste disposal; three different dumping pits (Placenta Pit, Burial Pit & Disposal syringe Pit) are used for medical wastes. The center has also introduced a unique ‘ token’ system to manage the patient flow.

From January 2015 to September 2016, ANC and PNC service was provided to 400-500 mothers per month and a total of 639 women received normal delivery care services. Patients from neighboring unions also come to this facility for better care.