The number of skilled health workers across the country is extremely low, only two against every 10 doctors while World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 50. Because of this, the people at rural areas largely depend on unskilled providers. To overcome this scarcity, it is essential to develop adequate number of skilled health workers immediately.
Speakers at National Consultative Meeting-2020 on “Community Paramedics: A Skilled Healthcare Workforce in Rural Bangladesh” made the observation on Monday at a programme in Dhaka.
Trained community paramedics are created through two-year course certified by Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council (BNMC). By increasing the number of these workers, it is possible to ensure primary healthcare at grassroots, speakers opined.
Prof Nasima Sultana, additional director general (Admin) of DGHS, attended the programme as the chief guest.
Nasima in her speech said, “The number of community paramedics is too little. So far, only 5,700 paramedics have been created and 4,500 are giving health services, she said mentioning that the number should be increased.”
Appreciating the government for its initiative to enhance the number of doctors and nurses, Dr. Jamaluddin Chowdhury, EC Member of Bangladesh Medical Association, added that emphasis should also be given on increasing the number of para professionals.
Dr. Sarwar Bari, Line Director (Field Services), DGFP, mentioned that, the role of community level health workers is crucial in meeting universal health coverage. Such workers have contributed substantially in the country’s healthcare indicators, he added.
Dr Jafar Ahmad Hakim, Senior Advisor, ASTHA, said public acceptance and recognition of community paramedics is important to raise their number.