An emergency referral system enables women who need to be transferred to hospital to be taken there as quickly as possible, with transport provided. A network of 6, volunteer healthcare workers — each responsible for households — offers women care from family planning through to antenatal services.
While urbanisation presents significant advantages for rural women and girls, not least the opportunity to join the burgeoning female workforce in garment factories and middle-class households, women in the slums are left without any kind of antenatal or child healthcare services.
While many rural districts now have an accessible community outreach healthcare system in place, in Dhaka the vast majority of healthcare services are still based in hospitals. Korail was the site of a controversial eviction this year; similar episodes are not unlikely.
The project, run by Bangladeshi NGO Bracwas launched in and is currently helping 3 million female slum dwellers access maternal and newborn healthcare services.
Land is so scarce that people have filled in rivers around the city to make space for new housing. The next challenge is to meet increasing demand and keep track of women as they move from slum to slum. According to healthcare workers, hospitals are already unable to meet the growing demand for treatment and services.
These services include awareness programmes for family members, labour preparation programmes and regular medical checks. Brac healthworkers say maternal health in Dhaka is beginning to reflect the challenges of urbanisation.
The Korail programme has installed a labour room in its central office to replicate the home-birth environment, but with trained midwives and traditional birth attendants on hand to ensure births are as risk-free as possible.
Share via Email Women and children at a village in Khulna. Mass evictions are on the rise as landowners clear out slums to make way for more profitable building projects. Many rural migrants, fearful of hidden costs, are reluctant to access hospital or clinic-based services at all.
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