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Caritas Bangladesh offers free health care to pregnant women

Women rarely visit a doctor as health care is non-existent in rural parts of the South Asian nation

Caritas Bangladesh offers free health care to pregnant women

Dr. Edward Pallab Rozario, health manager of Caritas Bangladesh, treats a woman from Sagordighi village in ​​Netrokona district on Feb. 14. (Photo supplied)

Published: February 17, 2022 10:26 AM GMT

Updated: February 18, 2022 02:43 AM GMT

Caritas Bangladesh is offering free medical services to pregnant women from poor families in the rural areas of the South Asian country.

“From April 2021 onwards, Caritas Bangladesh is working on health care for about 1,000 pregnant and adolescent women in two districts of the country, Dinajpur and Netrokona,” said Dr. Edward Pallab Rozario, health manager of Caritas Bangladesh.

The project aimed at improving health and nutrition status among the underprivileged is funded by Caritas Macau.

Rozario said medical care in the rural and remote areas of the country was near to non-existent due to which pregnant women rarely visit a doctor. Most women don’t even know where to find a doctor. Besides, there are many prejudices among them against seeking medical care.

Mow Manda, a 23-year-old pregnant woman from Sagordighi of the Durgapur area in ​​Netrokona district, said she was six months pregnant and was consulting a doctor for the first time since she became pregnant.

“The only hospital is about five kilometers away from here. I used to think that there was no need to get tested by a doctor during pregnancy. But now I realize that if I get myself examined regularly, my baby and I will be healthy,” the indigenous Garo Catholic mother of two told UCA News.

Reducing maternal mortality is a great achievement, but it is really possible to reduce it further

Caritas Bangladesh is planning on expanding its health awareness programs for the women in Bangladesh’s remotest areas, Rozario said.

It is providing health awareness and services to about 30,000 pregnant women, adolescents and HIV-AIDS patients through a dozen health projects.

According to the government's health department, only 12 percent of women were able to receive health advice and care in the year 2000. But at present about 50 percent women are getting help during pregnancy.

Mohammad Sharif, director of the maternal and child health program at the department of family planning, told UCA News: “Reducing maternal mortality is a great achievement, but it is really possible to reduce it further. It is not desirable for a mother to die while giving birth to a child or not having access to proper health care during pregnancy.”

According to data from the health department, 165 out of 100,000 mothers die while giving birth in Bangladesh while 21 out of every 1,000 newborns do not survive.

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