21 December 2023

A Mother’s Change of Heart

“I gave birth to my first two daughters at home. I was in severe pain, losing a lot of blood, and the baby would not come out,” recounted Ruma Khatun. “I was scared. My family was scared.” At 24, Ruma had already endured two delayed birth deliveries at home. Her first baby, Joti, was born when Ruma was only 16. Five years later, She gave birth to…, Anxious for her third pregnancy, Ruma lived with Johirul, their daughters, two brothers-in-law, and mother-in-law in the village of Dhamainagar, Rajshahi Division, northwest Bangladesh. Their home was situated alone in an isolated, green paddy field that stretched beyond the horizon, far from the main road. “From our house, the Upazila Health Complex is very far away, and in the…, Community health worker, midwife, and a change of heart, Three months into her pregnancy, Ruma met Sadia Islam, a community health worker 2  who had been going from door to door encouraging mothers in the village to visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic, where the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) and UNICEF recently launched Reaching Every Mother and Newborn (REMN) program . With the goal of being…, Sagarika gives Ruma a check-up at the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Ruma and Johirul visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic. REMN22.JPG, Ruma and Johirul visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Sagarika gives Ruma a check-up at the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic. Ruma and Johirul visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic., Ruhi, a bundle of joy, Three-month-old Ruhi was bubbly and curious. With cheek against cheek, hands holding Ruhi’s fingers, Ruma softly beamed with pride and happiness. Ruma gives Ruhi a bath in the morning. REMN04.JPG, Ruma gives Ruhi a bath in the morning., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Ruma plays with Ruhi after changing her clothes. REMN08.JPG, Ruma plays with Ruhi after changing her clothes., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Ruma gives Ruhi a bath in the morning. Ruma plays with Ruhi after changing her clothes. “I gave birth to her with confidence because there were skilled midwives who delivered my baby. They made me trust that my baby would be healthy, and I would be healthy as well,” commented Ruma. Ruma holds Ruhi in their house. Ruma…
31 October 2023

Ramping up dengue response by expanding access to testing kits

Twelve-year-old Shourov had been suffering from high fever for two days. Despite his mother's best efforts to provide him with treatment and care at home, Shourov’s condition showed no signs of improvement. He was diagnosed with dengue and was immediately admitted to Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master General Hospital in Tongi, Gazipur, when his parents…, Challenges in managing a health crisis,  “We often grapple with a shortage of human resources, making it challenging to manage all our duties while providing treatment and care to each patient. However, despite these obstacles, at the end of the day we feel satisfied about the fact that we have been able to conduct timely tests for our patients. Having a steady supply of testing kits…, A family’s journey of dealing with dengue, After five days of treatment, Shourov was ready to get discharged, a moment he had eagerly awaited. When asked what he missed the most during his hospital stay, he said, "I miss going to school and playing with my friends after classes." His mother shared that Shourov loved going to school and never missed his classes but had been unable to attend…, Collaborative approach to control dengue, Swift diagnosis, along with appropriate treatment, is crucial for recovering from dengue and getting back to normal life. Since the onset of the dengue crisis, UNICEF has delivered critical medical supplies, including testing kits with over 126,000 tests, and is also supporting the Government with building capacities of healthcare staff, providing…, Each dengue test kit supplied by UNICEF consists of at least 10 test strips., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Haque Each dengue test kit supplied by UNICEF consists of at least 10 test strips. UNICEF-Dengue Response-04.jpg, Each dengue test kit supplied by UNICEF consists of at least 10 test strips., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Haque Each dengue test kit supplied by UNICEF consists of at least 10 test strips. Each dengue test kit supplied by UNICEF consists of at least 10 test strips. “UNICEF’s support in supplying the dengue tests has been instrumental in managing the surge in cases. Their timely delivery has been a lifesaver for our community.…
17 September 2023

Community leaders come forward to protect at-risk families against dengue

As a new day begins in Dhalpur - a ward in Jatrabari, Dhaka - Sheuli Khatun, a dedicated field supervisor at the Dhalpur Aalo Clinic, gets ready to start her work in the local community. Sheuli's unwavering commitment to her community's health has never been more crucial, especially in the face of the alarming dengue outbreak that has gripped…, A constant battle, As of September 2023, the dengue outbreak in Bangladesh has spread to all 64 districts, with over 750 dengue-related deaths reported by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Additionally, more than 25,000 cases of dengue have been reported among children under the age of 15, which is a huge cause for concern. Sheuli's words highlight…, Spreading the message, Sheuli's commitment, however, doesn't stop at the clinic's doors. She is part of a larger effort, with UNICEF as a crucial partner, in spreading awareness and mobilizing the community. Through risk communication and community engagement initiatives, UNICEF is on the ground, planning and coordinating. Community leaders like Sheuli and community…, Sheuli Khatun and community volunteer Tahmina Begum speak to their community about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Mawa Sheuli Khatun and community volunteer Tahmina Begum speak to their community about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. Dengue prevention _2.jpg, Sheuli Khatun and community volunteer Tahmina Begum speak to their community about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Mawa Sheuli Khatun and community volunteer Tahmina Begum speak to their community about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. Sheuli Khatun and community volunteer Tahmina Begum speak to their community about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. Armed with pamphlets and hand mikes, Sheuli and her team conduct door-to-door…, Sheuli Khatun and Tahmina Begum speak to their students and mothers about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Mawa Sheuli Khatun and Tahmina Begum speak to their students and mothers about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. Dengue prevention _4.JPG, Sheuli Khatun and Tahmina Begum speak to their students and mothers about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Mawa Sheuli Khatun and Tahmina Begum speak to their students and mothers about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. Sheuli Khatun and Tahmina Begum speak to their students and mothers about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. In the bustling local vegetable market, they engage vendors and customers, with Sheuli emphasizing…, Voices of the faithful, Sheuli and her team forge alliances even within the community's spiritual centers. They collaborate with the Imams, local religious leaders, encouraging them to incorporate dengue prevention messages during public prayers, using the mosque's loudspeakers to disseminate life-saving information. Sheuli underscores the importance, saying, "Since the…, Tahmina Begum speaks to Imams at the mosque about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Mawa Tahmina Begum speaks to Imams at the mosque about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. Dengue prevention _6.jpg, Tahmina Begum speaks to Imams at the mosque about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Mawa Tahmina Begum speaks to Imams at the mosque about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. Tahmina Begum speaks to Imams at the mosque about dengue prevention in Dhalpur, Dhaka. UNICEF has also engaged with the Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh, leveraging their pivotal role in spreading accurate and actionable information…, A unified front, By joining forces with the Government of Bangladesh and other partners, UNICEF is dedicated to tackling the dengue outbreak head-on, ensuring a safer and healthier future for all. To protect children and to respond to this public health emergency, UNICEF is also delivering USD 2.25 million worth of urgently needed testing kits, training of…
25 May 2023

Three-month-old Sulaiman beats pneumonia

Three-month-old Sulaiman was born at home in Shyampur, a slum in Dhaka, with a neighbour – a former nurse – assisting his mother to bring him into the world. He and his parents share an apartment with two other families, each with one private room but sharing the bathroom and the kitchen.  Shyampur is a fusion of big factory buildings, apartment…, Fighting pneumonia, Sulaiman had been fighting pneumonia for several days. His breathing was fast, and he made harsh sounds as he struggled to get air into his lungs. He cried and coughed through the night, unable to sleep. His parents brought him to a UNICEF-supported Aalo clinic near their home where he received medical care. Baby Sulaiman cried and coughed through…, Baby Sulaiman cried and coughed through the night, unable to sleep., UNICEF/UN0825812/Mawa With the Aalo clinic offering free services less than a kilometer from their home, it’s easy for Sulaiman's parents bring him in for treatment. UN0825814.jpg, With the Aalo clinic offering free services less than a kilometer from their home, it’s easy for Sulaiman's parents bring him in for treatment., UNICEF/UN0825814/Mawa Baby Sulaiman cried and coughed through the night, unable to sleep. With the Aalo clinic offering free services less than a kilometer from their home, it’s easy for Sulaiman's parents bring him in for treatment. Dr Moumita Sarker and another general physician run the morning shift at the Shyampur Aalo clinic along with a team…, Sulaiman’s breathing improves as he gets his daily dose of treatment., UNICEF/UN0846162/Mawa Sulaiman’s breathing improves as he gets his daily dose of treatment. UN0825811.jpg, Sulaiman’s breathing improves as he gets his daily dose of treatment., UNICEF/UN0825811/Mawa Sulaiman’s breathing improves as he gets his daily dose of treatment. Sulaiman’s breathing improves as he gets his daily dose of treatment., A struggling health care system, In the urban slums of Bangladesh, around 40 per cent of the children are stunted, meaning they are too short for their age due to malnutrition. This is much higher than the national stunting prevalence of 28 per cent which is already unacceptably high. In addition, only 56 per cent of deliveries in slums are supported by skilled birth attendants,…, Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums., UNICEF/UN0825809/Mawa Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums. UN0825813.jpg, Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums., UNICEF/UN0825813/Mawa Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums. UN0846151.jpg, Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums., UNICEF/UN0846151/Mawa Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums. Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums. Simple diagnostic tests and medicines are out of reach for many in Bangladesh's urban slums., Solutions towards affordable primary health care, The Shyampur Aalo Clinic is one of six urban clinics opened in Bangladesh as a model for primary health care provision in urban areas. Through this model, UNICEF, supported by Government of Sweden and in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, is delivering an essential package of common health services such as maternal and newborn care,…, Three-month-old Sulaiman beat pneumonia, thanks to the staff at a UNICEF-supported clinic., UNICEF/UN0825819/Mawa Three-month-old Sulaiman beat pneumonia, thanks to the staff at a UNICEF-supported clinic. UN0825816.jpg, Three-month-old Sulaiman beat pneumonia, thanks to the staff at a UNICEF-supported clinic., UNICEF/UN0825819/Mawa Caring, attentive professionals are the face of Aalo clinics. UN0825817.jpg, Caring, attentive professionals are the face of Aalo clinics., UNICEF/UN0825817/Mawa Three-month-old Sulaiman beat pneumonia, thanks to the staff at a UNICEF-supported clinic. Three-month-old Sulaiman beat pneumonia, thanks to the staff at a UNICEF-supported clinic. Caring, attentive professionals are the face of Aalo clinics. The Aalo clinics are helping children like Sulaiman beat common childhood illnesses…, Medical staff at an Aalo clinic inside Korail, one of the largest slums in Bangladesh., UNICEF/UN0825822/Mawa Reaching under - served children and families in slums. UN0825821.JPG, Reaching under - served children and families in slums., UNICEF/UN0825821/Mawa Medical staff at an Aalo clinic inside Korail, one of the largest slums in Bangladesh. Reaching under - served children and families in slums.
29 April 2021

Communities rising: Tackling COVID-19 and building back better

Shirin Akhter, 35, starts her busy day at 5 am. After taking care of her household needs, she sets off to work at 8 am as a community volunteer for UNICEF partner Village Education Resource Centre (VERC).   Shirin works in Gazipur District, Bangladesh, home to almost 6 million people. Gazipur faces both urban and rural development challenges. The…, Ripple effects of global pandemic, COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdown measures severely impacted garment workers, urban slum residents and rural populations in Gazipur. Many factory workers lost their jobs, while those surviving on daily wages struggled to make ends meet. Access to nutrition and immunization services plummeted during the onset of COVID-19. Screening for severe…, Multisectoral approach to counter COVID-19, In response, UNICEF teamed up with Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation SIDA to build resilient and integrated essential services for underserved communities in Gazipur, targeting 316,000 people. “Our aim is to integrate services at service delivery points. We are ensuring pregnant women can receive both health and nutrition…, Investing in young changemakers, Volunteers like Modina Akhter, 20, play a key role promoting equality and healthy relationships to families and adolescents. “I motivate parents to treat boys and girls equally and be on friendly terms with their teenage children. I encourage mothers to speak to adolescent girls about periods and lots of other things,” Modina explains. Adolescents…, Strengthening services to build resilient communities, Through the introduction of COVID-19 prevention and safety measures for frontline workers and sustained community outreach, health and nutrition services were gradually restored to pre-pandemic levels in Gazipur. Immunization services recovered by June 2020, while malnutrition screenings climbed to reach 6,000 per month by November 2020. However,…