Local leaders ensure safe birthing in rural areas
The family planning wing of the government now uses local government leaders’ influence to ensure 24/7 maternity services and child care in rural facilities of the country.
A few months ago, Local Union Parishad Chairman Mohammad Shahabuddin bought 100,000 iron pills from his own pockets which are essential for pregnant women after Rustampur Union Health and Family Welfare Centre in north-eastern Sylhet district ran out of supplies.
The involvement of local government leaders deemed to be crucial in saving lives of mother and children. “Otherwise we had to wait for months for the government’s supply. We can’t predict when the supply reaches the village,” a Family Planning Inspector expressed.
The Chairman was also “happy” as he could manage to help the mothers of his area.
Save the Children, a human rights organization along with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and their funded ‘Momota Project’ aims at ensuring quality maternal, newborn health and family planning services at the community levels, using the existing government platform in Sylhet districts.
In August, they also renovated the previously dilapidated Center by providing additional manpower, necessary supplies and equipment to make it functional again, also making the relevant Union Parishad committees to engage with the local community for monitoring and supervision. Upto 15 normal deliveries now take place in the Center a month.
Only 38 percent women give birth with the help of skilled hands in Bangladesh. The maternal mortality ratio is 170 per 100,000 live births, according to government statistics.