The past 15 years Bangladesh witnessed major declines in child and maternal mortality and progress in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and achieved the target of Millennium Development Goal. Based on MDG, new focus has been given in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and one of the goals (SGD3) specifically is set out to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Caritas believes that health is a basic requirement to improve the quality of life and has been providing preventive and curative health service under strategic goal-3, in order to Improve Health Education, Care and Public Health Services. A total of 195 regular staff (Man-122, Woman-73) and 28 volunteers (Man-11, Woman-17) are working to achieve strategic objectives under health sector.
Key areas of intervention under Caritas Health Sectors are ; Primary Health Care, Maternal Health Care, Adolescents Health Care, Pro-Life Reproductive Health Education and Natural Family Planning, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), HIV and AIDS, TB, Leprosy and other Communicable diseases, Prevention, Treatment and After Care services for drug addiction and Sex Abuse. The health projects have been successful in reaching out 191,085 direct (Man-61,548, Woman-129,537) and 2,287,122 indirect (Man-781,019, Woman-1,506,103) program participants of 253 unions in 66 upazila and two city corporations under 26 districts.
The health sector also successfully arranged different training/seminar/workshop for awareness raising on health issues at community level for 99,915 program participants. Besides, a total of 160 Peer Educator groups have been formed and 7,194 adolescents/youths are capacitated on adolescent’s health care. One hundred new village midwives started antenatal checkup at community level. The medical centers and village midwives provided counseling and antenatal check up for 10,357 pregnant women, conducted 3,021 normal deliveries at home, referred 541 pregnancies related complicated mothers to the specialized hospitals/clinics and provided postnatal care for 3,048 mothers and children. All new mothers and babies delivered through trained midwives are healthy. In regards to indoor service, the community medical centers provided medical consultation and medicines to 78,825 patients with free or partial cost, pathological services and clinical examination to 12,181 patients, admitted 183 patients, supplied nutritional food to 129 malnourished children, harm reduction services to 1,328 and treatment and rehabilitation for 390 clients about drug addiction.
The above interventions contributed in improving health status and quality of life of program participants through health education, to increase access to Govt. and private health services especially for poor people. It increased scientific ideas and used psychosocial life skills for reducing health related social stigma, reduced discrimination for PLHA, TB and leprosy patients, drug addicts. It also helped them to raise voice for living with dignity. Caritas aims to continue with providing health education and services in future through its health sector.