Reaching Reproductive Health for the Indigenous people in Bangladesh

Shariful Islam, Partners in Population and Development (PPD)

Almost one million indigenous people live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, a hard-to-reach post-conflict region with virtually no access to Reproductive Health (RH) services or general health care services. The United Nations Development Programme initiated a health pilot initiative to improve the RH situation of the indigenous people of the areas through mobile medical teams, community based female health workers and partnerships. Capacity building of the local government and stakeholders and joint collaborative programmes were established. Maternal and child deaths recorded were lowest compared to the averages of the last 10 years. 43% of deliveries were attended by skilled attendants compared to only 13% in the previous year. One hundred seven Emergency referrals were provided to District Hospitals. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation increased to 85% from 54% in a year. Providing logistics support to Government Health staffs helped to increase program effectiveness. Health Structures of partner organizations were utilized, thus pooling resources and maximizing utilization of resources and services.

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Presented in Session 136: Indigenous Peoples: Asia