As a part of the Every Last Child Campaign, Save the Children and its’ partners have successfully arranged four medical camps in two sub-districts of the most deprived Sylhet division of Bangladesh. Sylhet is a region which has mortality rates as high as 425 per 100,000 birth (BMMS, 2010). This is primarily due to the region’s topography of hilly and extreme hard to reach areas of wetland called Haor and Chars. The medical camp was effectively held in the two most remote and hard to reach areas of the northern Sylhet Division; in which minimum 700 patients per facility per day and a maximum of 3000 patients received services from ‘no cost’ pediatricians and medical officers from the government medical colleges on maternal and child health. The Campaign works to ensure that majority of the healthcare services were directed towards the most marginalized communities, the most deprived mothers and the forgotten children of the world- which was to the least, a thousand women and children per day in this instance.
The medical camp organized as a part of the Every Last Child Campaign was a multi-partner initiative, held through technical and organizational support for various stakeholders to include Bangladesh Pediatric Association (BPA), Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB), Primary Level Facility Centers, Local Government and the youth advocates who managed the event very efficiently. The camp received a well response and immense support from the community. The local government, community support groups and civil society actors jointly collaborated to market, organize, arrange and manage the event.
The Union Chairman Md. Alamgir Hossain, the Union Health and Family Planning Officer Md. Alauddin Ahmed, attended the medical camp and provided their full support in successfully carrying out this initiative. Md. Iqbal Masud, Deputy Director & Head of Health Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission was also present in the medical camp to discuss about the importance of awareness and knowledge towards healthcare seeking. Chairman of Jaintiapur district thanked Save the Children and its’ partners in service delivery, especially in this hard to reach area. He said, “The medical camp improved health conditions of the most marginalized women and children in the area. As a part of this community it is our responsibility to bring the most deprived first. Working in collaboration has helped us to bring the community together, towards working for better health and welfare needs and availability.”
Apart from providing free of cost treatment to the most deprived communities, the medical camp have created linkages, participation and ownership of the local leaders in improving access to health services. The youth advocates went very deep and wide interms of disseminating messages on medical camp and taking the opportunity to share child marriage and drowning related awareness messages to the mass on this moment.
The Campaign, through its various activities promotes an improved collaboration and ownership of the local government, chairman and community support groups through continual infrastructural development and financial contribution and created a platform for the community to raise their voices, prole health issues and call upon the government for relevant policy or practice. Additionally, it generated a substantial, critical and meaningful youth led community mobilization.