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Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) is running a MCH Program

September 15, 2013

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) is running a MCH Program since its birth in 1972. Realizing the need of MCH program in the vulnerable communities BDRCS has scaled up the program in the last 40 years. At present, there are 56 MCH centres throughout the country, mostly in the rural but some are also in the urban areas.

The land and physical structure of the MCH centre belongs to BDRCS. A local committee looks after the MCH centre. The service providers are one community midwife, one assistant community midwife and 2 community health promoters (CHP). Service providers are local women and trainied by BDRCS. The service components are ante natal care, normal delivery, post natal care, child health care, immunization, family planninig , general health care and referral. Counselling is an integral part of the services, Raising awareness in the catchment population is done by the CHPs.. Four field officers of BDRCS perform the supervision and monitoring. In 2012 the total number of normal deliveries were 5513 which is about 10 per MCH centre per month. Similarly an average of 50 children were immunized, 25 couples received contraceptives and 200 persons received general health care per centre per month. An assessment conducted in 2009, has shown that the MMR and IMR in the BDRCS MCH catchment villages are lower than the adjacent villages.

In the development of MCH program, BDRCS has received technical and financial assistance from Danish Red Cross (DRC), Japan Red Cross (JRC) amcross, German Red Cross (GRC) and international Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). BDRCS and local committee togerther have introduced some token service and medicine cost recovery charges. There is a safety net arrangement for the poor. Each centre maintains a poor fund raised out of donations and replenished for the services of the poor. Furthermore , the local committees of MCH centre have introduced some income generation activities since 1995. Assistance from partner national societies (PNS), introduction of service cahrges, cost recovery for midicines and income generation activities has raised the status of 32 MCH centre  as financially self relaint.

Still a long way to go. Financially self reliant 32 MCH centres need regular supervision by the BDRCS Fos. The rest 24 MCH centres need to be upgraded in both program and management perspectives.

If the supervisory cost of the 32 MCH centres and up gradation expanses of the other 24 MCH centres are ensured then a vulnerable community of 1 million people will have more access to basic health care. It is expected that more institutional deliveries, new born care, family planning and effective referral system will lead to a decrease in the maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in the catchment population.