Bhogtera Community Clinic: Setting precedence in normal delivery
Twenty-five-year old Khadija Akter of Moulvibazar's Barlekha upazila got married in Chauddagram of Cumilla. She moved to her father's house a few months ago as she was pregnant.
Her relatives brought her to the Bhogtera Community Clinic in Juri upazila around 7:00am on August 10 after she started experiencing labour pains.
Khadija said, "Due to various medical complications, I lost all hope of my life. I thought I would have to undergo caesarean section. But, suddenly the community clinic gave me a huge relief. I gave birth to a baby boy at 9:20am with the help of Lipa Khanam, a midwife at the clinic."
With the birth of Khadija's baby, the clinic set a record of one thousand normal deliveries. Of them, seven women have given birth to twins. As a result, the total number of children born at the clinic stands at one thousand seven.
Husna Begum, a resident of Bhogtera village, said "We the people of the village no longer worry about diseases now. We go to the nearby community clinic when we suffer from fever or stomach ailments. We don't need to buy medicines as we get free medicines from there."
Not only Khadija Akter or Husna, the people of a number of villages in Moulvibazar district are very happy with the medical services provided by the Bhogtera Community Clinic.
Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Samarjit Singha said, as a small community clinic inside the rural village, the facility has set a record of one thousand normal deliveries free of cost for over 9 years. The hospital, located in Juri Upazila of Moulvibazar, is known as the 'Hospital of the Poor'. The clinic is in the first position in normal delivery in Sylhet division. The community clinic encourages normal delivery and only recommends caesarian sections in exceptionally critical cases, he said.
Community Health Care Provider (CHCP) Haniful Islam said, the clinic started its journey with the initiative of locals and upazila health division on the land of a local resident Moinul Islam in 2012. On January 12 in 2012, the first baby was born in the clinic without any c-section. A total of 1007 babies have been born in the clinic so far. Of them, 540 were girls, 367 were boys and seven were twins.
Sadia Begum, a patient of the clinic, said the physicians and nurses, better known as community healthcare providers, are patient-friendly and give free medicines to the patients. No money is required to purchase medicines.
Lipa Khanam, a volunteer maternity staffer and a resident of the same village, said she joined the clinic in June 2014 after receiving training on midwifery. So far 746 children have been born in her hands. However, she does not get any remuneration for her work.
Moulvibazar Civil Surgeon Chowdhury Jalal Uddin Murshed said, the clinic received Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina award on the occasion of Safe Motherhood Day on June 19 in 2013. Besides, the clinic also received the best community clinic award at the national level on July 16 in the same year.
He highlighted people's satisfaction over the services from the community clinic, saying that everybody is happy with the Medicare services and free medicines provided by the clinic.
Rafiq Mia, treasurer of the clinic management committee, said the then state minister for health, late Mujibur Rahman Fakir visited the clinic on April 26, 2013. He assured to turn the clinic into a 10-bed mother and child hospital. However, no action was taken in this regard later.
He demanded that the government take initiative to implement the assurance of the state minister.