Badalpur Union, a haor (marshland) area, is around 35 kms away from the district (Habiganj) town.During the dry season one can travel by chander gari1. But in the rainy season boat is the only option.The difficulty in communication has negatively affected all sorts of services including health care.Some 25,000 people living in the union had suffered badly. In the absence of the most basicmaternal, neonatal and child health care services, complications during birth and postnatal periodwere common and the untrained traditional birth attendants (TBA), who conducted most of the deliveries,had little clue as to how such cases could be managed. In two years ending in December 2014,three mothers 22 newborns died due to delivery related complications.
Considering this acute need, MaMoni HSS project took initiative to establish a Union Health and Family Welfare Center (UH&FWC) to provide 24/7 delivery services by skilled birth attendants (SBA).People residing in Paharpur village donated land to construct this UH&FWC. Save the Children, MaMoni’simplementing partner, mobilized additional resources from Save the Children, UK to support theconstruction of the UH&FWC. With extensive support from the local community, members of the UnionParishad, and the Health and Family Planning Department the construction was completed in June2014 and the building was handed over to the Family Planning Department, Habiganj in September2014.
Soon after, Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP), MoH&FW, appointed a Family WelfareVisitor (FWV) to serve at the center. MaMoni HSS project also deployed a paramedic to facilitateround-the-clock delivery services. The project also undertook mass awareness efforts to changecommunity behavior and have them avail the services offered at the UH&FWC. The Union Parishad’sHealth, Education and Family Planning Standing Committee also came forward and allocated Tk.170,000 from theUnion Parishad Health Fund to support purchase of essential medicine and a VanGari (a locally made three wheelers, used mostly to ferry goods).
In February 2015, the first delivery was conducted at the UH&FWC. A woman named Smriti Rani Das gave birth to a healthy baby at this UH&FWC.Minoti Rani Das, FWV and Ambia Khatun, a paramedic, took care of the delivery. By the end of the month five deliveries were handled and the numberskept rising all the time. The local parliament member Abdul Majid Khan appreciated the effort, “It is a dream come true and it happened due towonderful collaboration between MaMoni and DGFP. I will always keep my eyes on it and will continue to support this center (UH&FWC) .”