671Published on May 18, 2023
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government has been able to provide healthcare services at the doorsteps of the common people up to the rural areas due to the community clinics.
“The community clinics set up across the country have been able to reach health care services to the doorsteps of the common people up to rural areas,” she said.
The prime minister said this at the weekly Cabinet meeting held at her office (PMO), reports UNB.
The United Nations on Tuesday unanimously adopted the first-ever resolution on community-based health care. The resolution, titled “Community-based primary health care: a participatory and inclusive approach to universal health coverage,” acknowledged the important role community clinics play in promoting primary healthcare, women’s empowerment, community engagement and mobilisation towards achieving universal access to health.
Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh can share its experience of community clinics with other UN member states to ensure primary healthcare services in those countries.
She thanked the people of Bangladesh for giving her Awami League party a chance to remain in power since 2009 which resulted in this achievement.
“If they had not voted us again and again, and given me the opportunity to serve, I would not have come here,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that coming to power in 1996 after long 21 years following the 15th August killing in 1975, the Awami League government took up programs to reach health services to the doorsteps of the people.
She particularly mentioned the steps her government took during the 1996-2001 tenure for the construction of 11000 community clinics.
“The activities of providing services were introduced from four thousand such clinics during the time,” she said.
The PM said that the survey had revealed that up to 70 per cent of successes were achieved in those community clinics, while now the people in villages particularly females including pregnant women are getting quality health services from there.
Elaborating the role of the community clinics in achieving targets of ensuring primary health care, she said, these played a crucial role in reducing child and maternal mortality rates, and women are also getting health services during their maternity period.
The prime minister said that the people are now getting 30 types of medicines from there free of cost, while these facilities have created healthcare opportunities for marginal and poor people including rural women.
“Besides, job opportunities have also been created in rural areas centring the community clinics,” she added.
Hasina regretted that coming to power in 2001, the BNP-Jamat government closed the community clinics fearing that the beneficiaries might cast their votes for Awami League.
“I felt very sad that only Awami League people would not take treatment at the clinics we established. The common people get service there. There are also supporters of other parties in those areas. Then why did it stop?” She questioned.
“The government has also formed a trust so that none can stop the activities of the community clinics even after the change of the government,” she said.
She also thanked Almighty Allah as she is still alive after repeated attempts to kill her.
“…and able to work for the people of the country despite facing grenades, bombs and bullets. This is the most important thing," she said.
While talking about the UNGA resolution on “The Sheikh Hasina Initiative”, the prime minister said, some 70 member countries of the UN were co-sponsors of the resolution and it was unanimously adopted.
The prime minister conveyed thanks and gratitude to the co-sponsors and member states of the UN which played a significant role in adopting Bangladesh’s community Clinics model “The Sheikh Hasina Initiative” at the UNGA on Tuesday.