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'Banglar Nani' provides healthcare services riding on bicycle

DHAKA, Dec 18, 2017 (BSS) - Jahiron Bewa, a 90-year-old woman, popularly known as 'Banglar Nani' (Grandmother of Bangla) has been voluntarily providing healthcare services to the poor villagers for the last 44-year riding on a bicycle.

Although Jahiron has no academic knowledge on medicine, she is distributing some primary drugs including 'Paracitamol' along with providing consultancy to the pregnant women and different health-related problems of the children at country's northern Aditmari in Lalmonirhat district and its adjoining areas.

Locals said Jahiron, who is also known as a doctor of lower-income people, is providing healthcare services to the villagers free of cost.

Jahiron Bewa, wife of late Syed Ali and also mother of three sons and two daughters, hailed from Kamalabari village of Velabari union under Aditmari upazila, said: "Children and daughters were got married ...elder son Danesh Ali also died, so now I am providing primary healthcare services among the people easily."

"Sometimes I suggested people going hospital immediately if there is any complication found," she said, adding that in some cases, she also assists to shift these serious patients to the upazila health complex.

In 1973, she completed six-month training on health and family planning and since then she has been working as a health worker in the locality.

"I know the woman (Nani) from my childhood ....everyday she is providing free health services to the villagers riding on a bicycle," said Hasan Faruque, a resident of Kaliganj road area of Aditmari upazila.

As she has experience on midwifery, she can give pre-consultation to the pregnant women, said Khorshed Alam, professor of Islamic History and Culture Department of Adithmari Degree College.

"Though Jahiron Khala is not a doctor she has a lot of experiences in maternity healthcare services," said a 60-year-old Abdul Alim, lives in Mohishkhocha village, who came to Nani for taking medicines over worming complication. "She didn't take money in exchange of her health services," he added.

Everyday Jahiron visited more than 50 households of seven-eight villages and monthly she visit around 25-30 villages.

As we repeatedly said her no need to work at this age...but she didn't pay heed to it, said M Torab Ali, son of Jahiron Bewa, adding that she wants to breathe her last while remaining beside the people of the society.