October 28, 2010
Advisor (Education, Social Development & Political Affairs) to the Hon'ble Prime Minister, Professor Dr. Alauddin Ahmed and Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh, Dr. Takao Toda, visited Narsingdi District on 28th October to observe the activities of the Safe Motherhood Promotion Project (SMPP). SMPP is a project of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), and JICA provides technical assistance to the project. The SMPP aims at improving the health status of mother and newborn in Narsingdi.
Prof. Alauddin observed a monthly meeting of Community Support System (CmSS) in Uttar Baker Nagar union of Raipura Upazila. The CmSS is a mechanism for establishing enabling environment to prevent maternal and neonatal deaths in the community by the community people. The members of CmSS stated that since formation of the CmSS in 2008 the group registered 121 pregnant women in their locality. More than half of them had delivery at health facility and there was no maternal death up to the present. The group identified pregnant women and monitored their condition through house visits and recording the information using social mapping. In order to ensure safe delivery for poor pregnant women the CmSS started collecting fund and arranged emergency transport. The members of CmSS group organize Birth Planning session with a pregnant woman and her family to raise awareness on safe motherhood. In his speech, Prof. Alauddin stressed importance of community participation in social development and urged the group to continue their activities even after closure of the project. In Narsingdi there are more than 150 CmSS groups provide a support to pregnant women and neonates in the community. The CmSS has been recognized as an effective approach to address maternal and neonatal health issues and incorporated into Community Clinic Management Guideline developed by MoHFW.
The visiting team came to Raipura Upazila Health Complex (UHC) to learn about SMPP activities in this hospital. Raipura UHC initiated Caesarian Section services from May 2008 with the assistance of JICA. Since then, the number of total delivery has been jumped up to around 120 per month in this year. UHFPO Raipura expressed his appreciation to JICA and explained the hospital staff's efforts to provide necessary services to the increased number of clients. Upazila Chairman and UNO of Raipura also actively contributed to the improvement of UHC, allocating two sweepers to maintain the cleanness of the hospital. Recognizing the effectiveness of dual interventions (community and hospital), Prof. Alauddin commented that "Narsingdi Model" should be replicated in Bangladesh to save the lives of mothers and children.