Bangladesh, unlike the UK, has a health service where some services are paid for. Drugs, medicines and diagnostic tests all carry costs.
The women’s health group in the Bogra District created an emergency crisis fund to help women, children and families living in poverty, to support them during childbirth. All of the group members – men and women – donate to support those that need it most.
This was vital for Shamoly, when she started bleeding heavily towards the end of her pregnancy. She had learnt that severe bleeding was a danger sign from attending the women’s health group. She knew that the life of her and her baby were in danger.
The group could support Shamoly and her husband with emergency funds. This could cover the medical costs, as well as food and drink. Shamoly’s group worked together to give them 1,000 Taka from the group fund.
Members of the women’s health group were able to share the phone number of the local ambulance driver. Ambulances are also normally paid for. However, they are free of charge for pregnant women living in rural areas when there are emergency maternal health problems.
Once they had made the call, the ambulance reached them in just 15 minutes.
With the emergency funds and the referral of the free ambulance, Shamoly was able to deliver her baby safely.
Shamoly believes that without the support of the women’s health group and free ambulance service, she and her baby would have died. She thinks that all the women in the village should attend the group and receive potentially life-saving information.
You can continue to help and support communities like the group in the Bogra District, Bangladesh, by donating to Women and Children First: