Atikur, a Spirited Family Planning Inspector

Thursday 28 July 2016

Save the Children

Atikur Rahman, a young Family Planning Inspector (FPI) in his early thirties, has taken to a novel route to reach out to the people and inform them about activities around health services. He has set up a Facebook account, MaMoniHSSProject where he submits posts on health services provided at the UH&FWC, upcoming satellite sessions, timing and venue of video shows, resolutions at courtyard meeting or community micro-planning meeting. In a remote union like Bamoi in Habiganj district using Facebook as a medium to inform and raise awareness is a novel initiative. The Facebook page has more than 800 members. Atikur shares with this group the ongoing and upcoming activities through his posts and the members then spread it to the thousands around them. People are now better informed and the level of awareness about the various health interventions much enhanced. Besides, the free flow of information is assisting the Upazila health manager and public representatives to stay updated on different health programs as well as to keep a watch over what is happening in terms of health services.

When Atikur Rahman started working as a Family Planning Inspector (FPI) back in 2012 he was not happy with the state of affairs in Bamoi Union, the area he was assigned for. He noticed that services for pregnant women were inadequate. He thought four sessions of satellite clinics a month is too little to serve a 35,000 strong population. He began to raise his concerns to Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer and Medical Officer. He would regularly take part in meeting of the Union Parishad Standing Committee on Education, Health and Family Planning and voiced his concerns related to maternal and child health service situation and ways to improve it. He motivated the UP Chairman Mahfuzur Rahman to have the issue raised in the Upazila Parishad meeting. His efforts finally met success.

In a monthly meeting of Health and Family Planning Department in August, 2015, Dr Jashim Uddin Bhuiyan, Deputy Director, Habiganj, instructed to hold eight sessions of satellite clinics in Bamoi Union. Atikur did not stop there. He would talk to the FWA and Community Volunteers one day ahead of the satellite session clinic so that people were well informed and mothers could take necessary services. He has also made it a point to be present at those sessions.

All these efforts are having impact. In 2013, on an average 130 mothers took at least one ANC a month and in 2015 the number rose to 218. There used to be 8-9 facility deliveries a month in 2013 and two years later Baima Union saw the figure rising to 27-30.

Atikur also takes his supervisory role very seriously. He would undertake surprise visit to observe field level activities and cross check data against the FP prescribed format. He would then try to address the gaps he finds.

Seema Roy, a FWA, attests to Atikur’s good work: “Atikur bhai would come to see what I am doing in the field and carefully examine my register and monthly report.” Upazila Family Planning Officer (In Charge) Goutom Chandra appreciates Atikur’s performance, “If there were more hard-working FPIs like Atikur, the family planning situation of the country could be in much better situation”.