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Bangladesh: Ready, steady, go… getting started on our first Build it for Babies clinic

Thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of Save the Children supporters, our Build it for Babies campaign has hit its £1 million target! This is a phenomenal acheivement for an appeal that has only been running for six months.

The appeal asked for donations to help Save the Children build seven clinics in two of Bangladesh’s poorest districts, to ensure that people who live there receive health care from trained health workers in properly equipped facilities.

Community celebrations

A local health worker asks about the nursing facilities that will be available with the clinic.

Now we’ve reached our funding target we can begin building the first of these seven clinics, reaching communities in some of the most remote and inaccessible regions of Bangladesh. In a region where one in 19 children do not live to see their fifth birthday, we aim to support the government of Bangladesh to reduce the shocking number of children dying needlessly.

A little boy from Pukra answering a question about health and hygiene during the children’s section of the celebration.

We recently held an event at our first site in Pukra, Habiganj, north-east Bangladesh, to celebrate the start of the new build. The whole community came out to find out about the services they could expect to receive and ask any questions they had about these new developments.

Children were also given the chance to participate in the event and learn more about what Build it for Babies is about and how the health clinics will help them in the future. They were given party hats and played games to help them understand about how to stay clean and healthy.

Reaching out to remote communities

This is the first of seven health clinics that will be constructed thanks to the donations Save the Children has received through the Build it for Babies appeal.

Most of the population here are farmers or fishermen, and many are very poor. Transport is a major challenge as the roads are in bad condition and can become impassable at certain times of year. This means that people have to make long, difficult journeys to access health care. Many children die because they cannot reach vital medical services in time, and local knowledge about health is often limited.

This is why it’s so important to celebrate the start construction of this health clinic that will provide family planning services, healthcare for mothers and newborns and basic medical care for the whole community.

It’s great news for mothers like Lipi and her son Rudro. She gave birth at home, assisted by a traditional birth attendant, because she could not make the journey to hospital. But when Rudro fell ill recently, the family had to pay more than half of their regular household income to travel to hospital. Lipi is really happy she will have a clinic near her home soon, so she and her son can easily access good quality healthcare without having to pay so much.

Saving lives

A community health care provider who is granddaughter to the local resident who donated the land on which the clinic is being built said that when the clinic is built: “This clinic will save many lives that until now have not survived because we live in such remote areas.”

We’ll keep you posted about how the build progresses, and let you know how these new services help mothers and their babies, as well as the general community, in these remote and areas.

Photo credit: Abir Abdullah


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