Community health workers

Around 13,000 community clinics have been launched in Bangladesh under the project titled ‘Revitalization of Community Health Care Initiatives in Bangladesh’ with the aim of delivering health services at the grassroots level. Community health workers are relentlessly providing medical services to the rural population in these clinics.

Where does a community health worker work?

A community health worker works in a community clinic under the Ministry of Health. However, the Health Assistant is under the District Civil Surgeon’s Office and the Family Planning Assistant is under the District Family Planning Office, but they work temporarily in the community clinic. Community paramedics usually work at Union Health Centers, Urban Health Centers, Maternal, and Child Welfare Hospitals. Community health workers also work in the medical centers of NGOs in the villages.

What kind of work does a community health worker do?

Community health care providers usually provide medicines for common ailments such as colds, fevers, and diarrhea;
If the patient’s condition is found to be serious, he is sent to the Upazila Health Complex or District Sadar Hospital;
Many community clinics are arranging neonatal deliveries and are already training female community health care providers;
Community health workers provide advice and services on vaccination, family planning, birth control, maternal and child health;
In addition to providing health services, community health workers are required to record the names and descriptions of patients who come to the clinic;
Community paramedics and health assistants provide medical care as well as first aid in case of cuts or tears;
Many health workers with special needs have to go to the patient’s home to provide medical care;
When the required medicine is exhausted, one has to bring the medicine from the district headquarters.

Where are the necessary training and education opportunities for community health workers?

Community Health Care Providers provide 3 months of training under the Ministry of Health and Family Planning. So far, a total of 10353 workers have been given basic training. 1518 female workers have been trained in obstetrics and gynecology. Apart from basic training, many other pieces of training are arranged by the health department.
There are 6 government and 163 private medical assistant training schools (MATS) and 43 private institutes of health training under the Bangladesh State Medical Faculty. Out of these, the 4-year Diploma in Medical Assistant degree is given. It is compulsory to pass SSC in Science for admission in this course.
The National Population Research and Training Institute (NIPORT) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare officially launched a two-year community paramedic training course in 2011. At present, community paramedic courses are conducted from a total of 26 institutes in the country

What are the field of work and opportunities for community health workers?

Community clinic healthcare in Bangladesh is now a role model in the world. In 2010, about 13,000 community health workers were recruited. After the increase in the number of community clinics, in 2016, 1156 more people were notified for new recruitment. Job opportunities in this project of the government are increasing day by day. The recruitment and increase of Health Assistants under the District Civil Surgeon’s Office and Family Planning Assistants under the District Family Planning Office has increased as the government has given more importance to the health sector. Various NGOs have set up health centers in villages to provide health services to the rural population. Community paramedics are working in these health centers. In addition, community paramedics work at city health centers, maternal and child welfare centers under city corporations and municipalities.

What can a community health worker’s career look like?

Jobs for Community Health Care Providers (CHCPs) are covered under the Community Based Health Care Project. Although these jobs have not been made official, the government has decided to quickly from community trusts and bring CHCPs under the job trust. The posts of health assistants or family planning assistants are appointed in a permanent and temporary manner. All government job opportunities are available in permanent employment. In the case of community paramedics, if they are skilled and qualified, job opportunities are available in local and foreign NGOs. Numerous NGOs like Save the Children, Mary Steps are working for the development of healthcare in Bangladesh. There is also a significant demand for medical assistants and community paramedics abroad. For this, you have to be proficient in the English language.

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