A Tale of Two Wings: Health and Family Planning Programs in an Upazila in Northern Bangladesh

Bangladesh is committed to attaining Health for All by the year 2000. The Upazila Health Complex, supported by union level sub-centres and domiciliary health and family planning activities, are the major vehicles through which the government wants to achieve this goal. Several Non-Governmental organizations, including BRAC, have come forward to help achieve the goal. In order to identify possible areas of intervention, BRAC carried out an intensive study of the government health and family planning activities of an upazila in northern Bangladesh, emphasizing particularly at the domiciliary levels. The study team collected a large volume of quantitative and qualitative information about how the different systems operate in that upazila. The data were collected through observation, interviewing, discussion and reviewing of records over a period of three months in mid-1988. A dismal picture emerged from this study about the state of the health and family planning services in the upazila, particularly at the domiciliary level. Findings included, among others, that many of the assigned duties are not done, or are done only partially, and to domiciliary workers home visits are their least popular activity. This particularly indicated a tremendous wastage of resources. The report concluded with the assumption that many of the findings of this study will be useful to the government in assessing and improving its health and family planning services at the periphery. It further recommended that a major review of the health and family planning services in rural areas is warranted.

Author: RED, BRAC
Type: Monograph
Year: 1990