As the number of patients is increasing at community clinics in rural areas of the country, some 12 crore people received healthcare facilities in 2016.
“There are 13,236 community clinics in the country. Now, 80 to 90 percent rural people are receiving treatment facilities from community clinics,” an official of Community Clinics Programme told BSS.
While talking to BSS, Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim said, “Community clinic project is an important outcome of visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
BNP-Jamaat alliance government shut down community clinics as part of their revengeful politics.”
“After assuming power, the Awami League government reopened community clinics. Now the community clinics have become a role model for healthcare services in the world,” he added.
Referring to encouraging comments of Director General of World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan, the health minister said that the WHO Chief urged the world community to follow the success of Bangladesh in the health sector as a role model.
Nasim said delivery services for pregnant mothers are now available at over 900 community clinics. “Community clinics are playing an important role in providing healthcare facilities for mothers and their children. Laptops have been given at all community clinics for improving its service quality,” he added.
Project director of Community Clinics Programme Dr Mamotaz Haque said, “We have been able to improve service quality of community clinics. These clinics have become role model in the world for providing primary healthcare facilities.
He said community-based health care (community clinic project) is a project under 27 operational plan of the fourth Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Programme. This project (community clinic) is being expanded to bring rural people under primary healthcare coverage, he added.
The community clinic project sources said in 2010, the number of service recipients from community clinics was 2.36 crore while 3.72 crore people received healthcare services in 2011, 7.22 crore in 2012, 9.85 crore in 2013 and 10 crore in 2014.
According to a survey of National Population Research and Training, 80 percent people are happy to get medicines and medical advices from community clinic while another survey of National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) showed that 98 percent people are satisfied with healthcare services of community clinics.
Ujjal Kumar, a healthcare provider at Baraigram Upazila Sadar Community Clinic, Natore, told BSS that “Poor people in rural areas are getting healthcare services at the community clinics for free. This has been possible because of pro-people initiative of the present government of reopening community clinics.”
On an average, 80 people are getting treatment facilities from Baraigram Upazila Sadar Community Clinic, he added.
Mina Rani, a local resident, said, “We are getting almost all treatment facilities from these community clinics free of cost. Earlier, we had to go to Natore district hospital for having medical checkup, which was very difficult, expensive and time-consuming.”
At the community clinics, pregnant mothers are being given infertility healthcare facilities including immunization during pregnancy at the community clinics. All necessary healthcare facilities are also given at the community clinics to protect children and adolescents from different diseases including tuberculosis, pneumonia, polio, cough and hepatitis-B.
After coming to power in 1996, the Awami League government had a plan for setting up 13,000 community clinics across the country. In line with the plan, the activities of community clinics started in 1998.
Prime Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Gimadanga community clinic under Patgati union at Tungipara, Gopalganj during the period. As many as 10,723 community clinics were set up across the country till 2001. But the four-party alliance government led by BNP shut down the community clinics in 2001.
In 2009, the Awami League government reopened the community clinics aiming to reach healthcare facilities to the doorstep of the rural people.