Bangladesh health workers are helping to save the lives of dozens of babies and mothers every day. Eighty five percent of pregnant women in Bangladesh give birth at home and community health workers are trying to change this.
They visit mothers throughout their pregnancy to see how they are progressing and to offer advice. But one of their most important jobs is to convince women to give birth in a hospital or a clinic – in case anything goes wrong.
If this does not work they provide a delivery kit which includes anti-bacterial soap and a plastic sheet. The plastic sheet is especially important as the floor is usually just dirt in the majority of poor people’s homes and this is where most women give birth at home.
In many countries around the world there is a serious shortage of trained medics. One possible solution is Community Health Workers – people chosen by the community and given brief training and basic equipment.
By taking on the most essential primary health tasks, they can reduce the burden on doctors and midwives.
So in this film we follow Azmiri Akter, a community health worker who cares for pregnant women in rural Bangladesh. Of the eighty five percent of women who give birth at home – every day more than thirty women die giving birth. But hopefully community health workers will change this.
After just one months training they take their knowledge out into the communities, where they are known, respected and most importantly trusted. Azmiri tests women to check if they are pregnant and once this is confirmed she looks after them all the way through their pregnancy to child birth.
Azmiri’s job is non-stop. She covers large distances each day, with her work helping young women for birth and teaches them to identify any potential problems.