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More people than ever visits the renovated clinic

After the health clinic in West Doguri received proper sanitation services, the number of visitors increased, resulting in better health among the people.
Rima Akter is a Community Healthcare Provider in Bangladesh

Banglabazar is one of thousands of low-income communities that have cropped up next to factories in Bangladesh in recent years. Living conditions in these communities are poor, not least in relation to water, sanitation and hygiene. Here, 30-year old Rima Akter has been a Community Healthcare Provider in the West Doguri Community Clinic for the last seven years. Inspired by her father and his philanthropic work, Rima has wanted to do humanitarian work since she was a child.

The clinic where Rima works is based in the village of West Doguri, in the district of Gazipur. It only had one room when Rima joined, the medical equipment was limited and basic amenities like electricity, clean water and proper sanitation management was unavailable. There was only one unhygienic toilet inside the clinic and patients didn’t use the clinic as much as they could have if the facilities had been better. Rima used to go home to respond to nature’s call in the middle of her duties, and then come back to her work which was difficult. She spent many years working at the clinic putting up with an unhygienic sanitation situation that she wasn’t sure would ever change.

“Sometimes days passed without any patients. As a doctor I felt bad.”

Rima Akter

“The number of patients we had was very low. Sometimes even days passed without having any patients. As a doctor I felt bad,” says Rima.

But thanks to the support from the Banglabazar project by WaterAid, and its focus on water and sanitation matters the clinic has had a long overdue renovation. A pump for clean running water has been installed, ensuring improved handwashing facilities, and two latrines have been restored too. The people in the community are happy with the new facilities in the clinic and the health of the local people has been improved.

“Now at least 500 patients are visiting the clinic every month. The situation has significantly changed, especially females, with their children are visiting regularly.”

Rima Akter

“Now at least 500 patients are visiting the clinic every month,” Rima says happily. “The situation has significantly changed, many more patients, especially females, with their children are visiting regularly.”

Rima looks after advice on hand washing, family planning and contraceptives, and provides proper information on health and hygiene for mothers so that they can prevent their kids from being infected by multiple diseases. She also gives advice to young women and adolescent girls about menstrual health hygiene and reproductive health.

“I came to understand that women and adolescent girls have been the victim of the curse of superstition in terms of the information they receive about their periods but now their mindsets have changed after receiving advice from the clinic. Now women have nutritious foods and continue their normal work during their period.”