Medical &Health

Govt ensures maternal healthcare amid COVID-19

While many other regular health treatments were numbed at hospitals and failed to provide services to masses in the country during the lockdown amid spread of deadly Coronavirus, the pregnant mothers have been able to get healthcare services from all health centers.

“Every healthcare centers across the country from division level to union level have been providing medical services to the pregnant mothers amid the pandemic even during the lockdown last year,” Professor Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the Department of Health, said.

She said Medical College Hospitals, District Hospitals, Upazila Health Complexes, Union health centers and even community clinics have been providing maternal health care following the hygiene rules since the beginning of the outbreak of coronavirus.

“All pregnant women can avail services from any nearby healthcare institution to avoid any complications,” she said.

Nasima said the incumbent government is very sincere regarding healthcare of pregnant mothers as it is committed to reduce the maternal mortality rate in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We were really scared as we heard that medical treatment had been held back due to corona. But it was a great relief when I saw healthcare are being provided to pregnant women at the union health complex,” said Kamal, husband of Rehana who gave a healthy baby girl in May last year during the countrywide lockdown.

Rehana and Kamal, of Manikpur village under Chakoria thana of Cox’s Bazar district, got married two years ago. “It is our first child … so everyone at my in-law’s house were excited … but after the lockdown,” said Rehana.

Before the lockdown, Kamal said he used to bring her wife to the Union Health Complex, seven kilometers far from his house, once in a month for regular checkup.

“But, when the government had imposed countrywide lockdown, I was really worried about health of my wife and our expecting baby. One day, I walked through the health complex and got relieved seeing that the healthcare service for pregnant mothers were offering though many other treatments were suspended that time.” Kamal said.

Later on, Rehana had gotten admitted at the health complex on due time and gave a safe birth of her baby.

“Both mother and my child were fine, thanked the present government for taking care of them,” Kamal said with satisfaction.

Amid this pandemic, Dr Sultana said any pregnant women can receive healthcare services from the health centers across the country. All the centers have corners with midwives to provide Antenatal care (ANC) and Postnatal Care (PNC) services to the pregnant mothers.

Besides, she said, the phone numbers of the respective centers have been written at every ANC and ONC cards. “Anyone can have advices through calling those numbers,” she added.

Noting that women may experience many complications during pregnancy, Sultana advised all pregnant mothers to contact with nearest health care institutions immediately if they feel any five types of major problems.

The problems include blurred vision or severe headaches, sudden prenatal bleeding, high fever, convulsions, and delayed delivery.

“This is also responsibility of family members to take special care of pregnant mothers,” Dr Sultana said.

During the pregnancy, she said, expecting mothers need to be given good quality nutritious food including like fresh fruits, vegetables, non-vegetarian food, fish, meat and eggs.

“During the pregnancy, you have to look after health of both mother and the expecting child simultaneously. Pregnant mothers must increase in taking of food keeping parity of the development of fetus,” Sultana said.

During the first three months of the pregnancy, mothers require more than 100 to 200 calories of food while it should be 200 to 400 calories in the second trimester and 400 calories in the third trimester than the normal period, she added.

Gynecologist Dr. Monowara Begum said pregnant mothers have to get extra care than from the family members like they are not allowed to do heavy work during the pregnancy.

“Currently, we are going through an epidemic … in this difficult time everyone should pay more attention to the pregnant mothers and give them courage,” she said.

Saying that during the pregnancy women usually experience a critical mental state, she said, they need to be monitored by their husbands of elderly family members.

“You should always talk to her for keeping their mind strong. You need to inquiry what’s their problem. So that, she can get that someone in the family is paying more attention to her during this critical time,” she said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)