Everyone deserves the right to quality healthcare that is accessible and affordable. It should not be dictated based on where you live. A mother should be able to meet the medical needs of her children regardless of their income and assets.
Unfortunately, this is not the case in rural Bangladesh.
Although healthcare facilities are widespread in Bangladesh, there remain pockets of extremely poor people in rural areas that do not have access to health care services and information. The facility is too far, and there is no money for transportation, let alone a doctor’s visit or medication. Health issues are complicated by chronic malnutrition among this population and social norms that continue to allow adolescent marriage and motherhood.
At Partners in Sustainable Development International, we are able to provide health care to these most needy areas by establishing small clinics and providing health care education focused on proper nutrition and hygiene practices. Getting these families healthy is the first step in lifting them out of poverty.
Our experience in providing healthcare in underserved areas has proven that the establishment of small clinics in rural areas combined with outreach and education address the issue of access and affordability. If someone can’t come to the clinic, outreach workers can go to them. Providing medical cards to the extreme poor allows them to receive medical care for free. With access to medical services and the ability to afford care, women and children can overcome the majority of health issues they face and remain strong enough to continue to lift themselves out of their extreme poverty. Additional outreach and education services with trained professionals can relay information about basic health and nutrition among this population to prevent more serious issues. It’s an integrated strategy that works.