RAJSHAHI: Maria Union Health and Family Welfare Centre (UH&FWC) under Bagmara Upazila in the district has become the home of trust and confidence to the rural pregnant women, particularly the poor and marginalised ones.
Public in general including the pregnant women of the surrounding areas are availing various healthcare services including institutional delivery, antenatal care, postnatal care, family planning, child care and general health since revival of the center.With this breakthrough the rate of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity has started reducing in the area besides achieving the number 3 of the sustainable development goals, reports BSS.
Maria Union Parisahd (UP) Chairman Aslam Ali said that the labor room of the centre has been enriched with essential equipment including labor table, oxygen cylinder and refrigerator for the sake of boosting institutional delivery in the rural area.
Since its revival in October 2019 after a long gap of suspension, the centre has arranged normal deliveries of 18 pregnant mothers successfully with close supervision of Family Welfare Visitor (FWV) Hafeza Khatun till March last.
“We have referral services for the mothers suffering from various pregnancy-related complexities like vaginal bleeding, eclampsia, severe headaches and fever and delayed labor,” said Khatun.
UP Chairman Aslam Ali said the centre has been revived with initiative of the Public Health Improvement Initiatives Rajshahi (PHIIR) project for welfare of local pregnant mothers, particularly the poor and ultra-poor of the community.
He said the FWV was given appointment as contributory staff with financial support of the project. The project is intended to improve the health status of the targeted population with special focus on maternal, neonatal and child health at primary health care level.“I was blessed with my second baby through normal delivery at Maria UH&FWC on February 5 last,” said Beauty Begum, 25, wife of Raju Ahmed of Nimpara village, adding they are very much happy with their newborn.
Shilpi Begum, 30, who gave birth to her third baby through normal delivery at the centre on January 28 last, said the centre has become boon for the local mothers. “We had no ability to go to the upazila or district level hospital for delivery due to financial constraint,” she added.
“We have recorded 3,324 deliveries including 3,308 normal ones comprising 2,703 in upazila health complexes and 605 in UH&FWC during the period of October 2019 to March 2021,” said PHIIR Project Manager Tozammel Haque.
On behalf of the project, essential equipment like refrigerators, delivery beds, maternal care checkup beds, oxygen cylinders, weight scales, waste bins and curtains are being provided for labor rooms of the UH&FWCs and Union Sub Centers (USCs) to make those fit for providing various reproductive healthcare services including normal delivery.
Deputy Director of the Department of Family Planning Dr Nasim Akhter said the government and non-government collaborative efforts are being adjudged as substantial and sustainable promotion of institutional delivery besides reducing maternal and neonatal deaths.
She said utmost emphasis has been given on remote counseling of pregnant women over phone, especially those with approaching expected date of delivery with specialized advice on pregnancy care and birth preparedness plan keeping the Covid-19 challenges in mind.
Prof Hasina Akhter, former head of the Department of obstetrics and gynecology in Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital, said strengthening the union level health facilities could be the vital means of achieving the country’s ambitious targets related to curbing maternal and newborn mortality rates.
“We have made remarkable progress towards reducing the maternal and neonatal mortality rates over the last couple of years, but there are furthermore emergency works to be done,” she said.