DHAKA, Dec 29, 2017 (BSS) - "I had to go to a far-off hospital when my first baby was born...Regular check-up was not possible at that time, but during my second pregnancy, I got medicines and healthcare services free of cost at the community clinic close to my home."
Baby Akhter, a 25-year old housewife of Baliakhali village of Morelganj upazila in Bagerhat, stated this with her full satisfaction over the services available at the community clinic in her area, like many such clinics in rural areas across the country.
She said, just a decade ago, most of the women were reluctant to go to far-off hospitals and they gave birth to their kids at home. Then many of the pregnant women died of birth related complications, she said, adding that now women are getting necessary advice and healthcare services at their nearest community clinics.
The Awami League government started working with a target of setting up 18,000 community clinics during the tenure between 1996 and 2001. In 2001, the government of the BNP-Jammat suspended the activities of the community clinics after assuming office.
Later, the operation of the community clinics resumed in 2009 when the Awami League returned to power. The community clinics are now playing a significant role to reach the healthcare services to the people's doorsteps.
The demand of community clinics is rising day by day as these clinics are providing general healthcare services and executing nutrition and population programmes.
Recently, the community clinics and union sub healthcare centers have been brought under the internet technology, said Abu Bakar Siddique, community clinic healthcare service provider of Baniakhali village of Morelgang.
Terming community clinics a dream of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim said "The availability of primary healthcare services in rural areas has established Bangladesh as a proud nation."
About necessity of the community clinics, Aklima Rina, family welfare assistant of Khawlia union of Morelganj Thana, said before the inception of the community clinics, people used to go to union healthcare centres or far-away hospitals for medical treatment.
Consequently, the pregnant or lactating mothers usually did not get necessary treatment and consultations at the right time, said Aklima Rina, adding that then many pregnant women died or had to suffer from birth related complications for lack of proper healthcare services.