Asma, making ‘safe delivery’ a mission of life

Monday 11 July 2016

Asma Akter (47), a Community Skilled Birth Attendant (CSBA) and Family Welfare Assistant (FWA) from Deorghat Union of Habiganj District, started her work life 27 years ago. However, her career as a birth attendant started back in 2003 after she received six months long Community Skilled Birth Attendant (CSBA) training at Habiganj Sadar Hospital. She was soon into action.

CSBA Asma Begum is counseling a pregnant mother during home visit. Photo: Abir Abdullah/Save the Children

Asma’s service was not in high demand though. People here still had faith in traditional midwives and few were prepared to call in a trained attendant to carry out delivery. But the scenario has changed significantly. These days Asma handles 15 to 20 deliveries a month on an average and over the years she has carried out more than 1,700 deliveries.

Asma takes her job seriously. She visits the household of every eligible couple as a FWA and counsels pregnant women on Antenatal check-up (ANC) that she meets during her rounds. She also talks with the couples about different types of family planning methods to help them choose their suitable one. She refers the Long Acting Permanent Method (LAPM) clients to the Upazila Health Complex. Recently she received ANC logistics from MaMoni HSS Project and she is now conducting ANC of pregnant women during home visit. She also counsels mothers on Postnatal Check-up, Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) and Complementary Feeding (CF).

Asma received training on a number of fields from MaMoni HSS project that include maternal and newborn care, family planning and nutrition, use of misoprostol, community micro-planning, community mobilization, managing eclampsia/pre-eclampsia, use of MNCH register and CSBA register. Additionally, she received midwifery orientation from this project. She enjoys her work which she describes as very fulfilling. Her hard work and dedication has earned her respect from the community as well as the Traditional Birth Attendants (SBAs). A female Union Parishad Member commented, “Asma is contributing towards reducing the number of maternal and neonatal death in our area. Other service providers should learn from her how to serve the people.”