Facilitated Access to Health Facilities for Treatment of Illnesses: Experiences of CFPR/TUP Program

This study explored the management of illnesses requiring treatment at health facilities within the past one year by the ultra-poor households in the northern part of the country, and to see whether this differed between ultra-poor households with and without CFPR/TUP intervention to any substantial degree. Data from the follow-up survey in 2005 were used in this analysis. A similar trend in the management of the illnesses between the intervention and the control households was observed. Hospitalization was required for only 10% of the study population in past one year. Hospitalization was mostly required for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract such as diarrhoea and dysentery among those under fifteen years of age. The intervention could increase the use of available facilities in the public sector, which is shown by the greater use of Upazila Health Complex by the intervention households. The active role of BRAC community health volunteers (SSs) in this is revealed by a greater proportion of them accompanying the patients to health facilities compared to the control area. Very few diagnostic investigations were done before admission in the hospitals. The mean cost of treatment was comparatively less for the intervention households due to reduced service charges by the SS, free consultation, lab tests and medicine at cost prices at BRAC health centres, financial help provided through ‘emergency revolving fund’ kept at the field office which is later replenished from the locally mobilized fund. The implications of these in the context of reducing ‘health shock’ for the ultra-poor households are discussed.

Author: Ahmed, Syed Masud
Type: Report
Year: 2006