DHAKA, Sept 6, 2019 (BSS) – Conceived as a rewarding and welfare-seeming idea, the community health clinics have made a remarkable progress in rural areas as these health facilities are now making the rural folk accustomed to the motto– wellness instead of sickness, preventative education rather than reactive treatment.
Implementing community health clinics initiatives is regarded as an integral part of community development projects, responding to unmet health care needs of rural communities.
Focusing on strengthening the availability and quality of health care as well as empowering the people to take care of their own health, the community health clinics have brought about a silent revolution in the country’s primary health care.
These government facilities are providing services to the common people, including mother and children, offering a range of medicine. Besides, the government has taken steps to ensure normal birth delivery services at all community clinics across the country while it has already been available in some clinics.
The government has a plan to build 1000 more clinics across the country with a provision of normal birth delivery room.
Besides, the government is distributing solar power to those community clinics that are out of the electricity supply network.
Officials familiar with the project said a total of 13,780 community clinics are offering healthcare services while the target is set to construct 14,890. There are 3,054 community clinics in the country where the normal delivery services are available.
Sources said around 66,000 normal deliveries have been done in those clinics since 2014. Of them, 6,094 deliveries have done in 2014, 10860 in 2015, 12,538 in 2016, 14,934 in 2017 and 21,574 in 2018. Project Director of the Community Clinics Dr Abul Hashem Khan told BSS that there are 13,780 community health clinics in the country and 1029 more clinics will be constructed by 2022. Nearly 400 clinics will be constructed this year, he added.
Currently, he said, around seven lakh people are taking primary treatment from the clinics every day. Around 3,500 clinics are rendering normal delivery services with the cooperation of local people and non-government organizations (NGOs), he added.
Hashem said equipment for delivery services will be distributed to 1000 community clinics soon while the delivery services will be introduced at all community clinics in phases.
Sources said about 90 crore patients have taken health services from the community clinics since its journey. Of them, around 72 crore women and children have taken health services.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the community health clinics project by inaugurating the Dimadanga Community Clinic at Patgati union of Tungipara upazila in Gopalganj district on April 26 in 2000.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) regularly monitors the community clinics so that the rural people can get the basic medical services properly at the village level.
Community clinics now appear to be examples in the developing countries of the world, Hashem added.
The number of patients has increased immensely as they get the medicines free of cost, he said, adding that on an average 40 percent patient are being provided medical services by the clinics. As the aging population is on a steady rise the programs are designed to assist the elderly besides serving other segments of the rural people.
In principle, all services at government facilities, including preventive and primary care, diagnostic services and outpatient and inpatient hospital care are delivered free of charge.
The community health clinics have now been commended as setting up a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the country’s health care landscape.