CARE Bangladesh has launched two new projects to help strengthen the health care system in the areas of Gazipur City Corporation to address the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring the safety of all citizens, including the marginalized people of the city. The projects are named ‘Strengthening Health & Social Governance Structure 4 Prevention & Recovering COVID -19 Crisis in Urban Slum Area’ (SUHSGSPR COVID-19) Project and Emergency Communication Management (ECM) Project.
Gazipur City Corporation is newly formed and is the largest city corporation in the country. It is an industrial area and a densely populated city. Many people work in various factories, especially in ready-made garments (RMG). Most of these working people are women, and a large part lives in slums, where there is a lack of healthy living facilities. There is a rising need for adequate government hospitals and primary health care services for many people in urban areas. Workers cannot avail proper health care due to lack of proper information, lack of funds, and busy schedules for maintaining a livelihood, which is responsible for poor health and malnutrition of their families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the health crisis has doubled.
On the other hand, the lack of adequate skilled health workers and service providers has exacerbated the health crisis. CARE Bangladesh has started implementing two projects by collaborating with Gazipur City Corporation to address the above situation. Through these projects, CARE Bangladesh will implement activities to strengthen the health care infrastructures and social governance to prevent and protect the marginalized people in the urban areas against the COVID-19 crisis.
Md. Aminul Islam (Additional Secretary), Chief Executive Officer, Gazipur City Corporation (GCC), inaugurated the “Strengthening Health Social Governance Structure for Prevention and Recovery COVID 19 Crisis of Urban Slam Area and Emergency Communications Management Project” held in BRAC CDM, Rajendrapur, Gazipur. Dr. Md. Khairuzzaman, Civil Surgeon, Gazipur, and Dr. Ikhtiar Uddin Khandaker, Program Director, Health Unit, CARE Bangladesh, were present as special guests. Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Secretary, Gazipur City Corporation, chaired the event.
Dr. Md. Rahmatullah, Health Officer, GCC, gave a brief presentation on City Corporation's initiatives against COVID-19 and Md. Hafijul Islam, Senior Technical Coordinator (Team Lead), Urban Health, CARE Bangladesh, briefly presented these two new projects. S.M. Rezaul Islam, Advisor, Public-Private Health System, CARE Bangladesh, delivered introductory remarks, and Monisha Mafruha, Technical Coordinator, CARE Bangladesh, moderated the open discussion session.
While speaking as the chief guest, Md. Aminul Islam (Additional Secretary), Chief Executive Officer, Gazipur City Corporation, said, “The way CARE Bangladesh has come forward with emergency assistance in the COVID-19 situation was phenomenal. This has supported the GCC to fill the necessary need gaps in dealing with the pandemic. Implementing these projects will improve the health status and coverage of the low-income people for essential health services living under the Gazipur City Corporation areas and beyond that. CARE is one of our most trusted partners and played a significant role in the vaccination program in many parts of Bangladesh. Now that a new challenge has arrived in the name of Omicron, we need to continue the good work even more. I will request the authority to extend the timeline of these projects beyond one year if possible so that the development in the communities can be sustained for a longer time.”
“There is no alternative to bring everyone under COVID-19 vaccination for fighting against COVID-19. Implementing these projects will improve the health status and coverage of the low-income people for essential health services living under the Gazipur City Corporation areas and beyond that.”
Speaking as the special guest, Dr. Khairuzzaman, Civil Surgeon, Gazipur, thanked CARE Bangladesh for its contribution through the notable achievements in the field of health in Gazipur. “In particular, the role of CARE Bangladesh in coordinating COVID-19 related health care services such as facilitating vaccination programs and initiating & managing EPI activities for working women and their children in the evenings and on holidays are exemplary in Bangladesh. The COVID-19 vaccination program in Gazipur has achieved the highest targets in Bangladesh currently, and CARE Bangladesh has been an integral part of that. I hope that this cooperative bond between City Corporation and CARE will continue to strengthen and grow. I will also request CARE Bangladesh to focus on maternal and child health in their project activities.”
The event was attended by respective councillors, City Corporation staff, Government officials, officials from Civil Surgeon's office, representatives of development organizations and media personnel.