In Narajanganj, Bangladesh – a project is underway to build a compassionate community. This project aims to provide a model of care in one Bangladesh city which shows how compassionate palliative care alleviates suffering, positively impacts people’s quality of life and is a cost effective and ethical imperative of health systems. It is crucial for achieving Universal Health Coverage – one of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by all government in 2015.
Here, the Narajanganj project’s research assistant, Shafiquejjaman Saikot, shares how training high school teachers and college instructors has been a part of this initiative.
A palliative care orientation meeting for teachers was held by the Compassionate Narayanganj team on 22 June, 2019. During the meeting, Ms. Afsana Afroz Biva who is the Panel Mayor at Narayanganj City Corporation was presented as a chief guest. Additionally, Ms. Farida Akter who is the Founding General Secretary of Kinder Care High School and Ms. Mahmuda Khatun who is the Assistant Professor of Narayanganj College were presented as special guests. In total, 26 teachers from different 18 schools and colleges participated in that meeting.
The main purpose of the meeting was to share the main concept of palliative care with teachers. Dr. Rubaiyat Rahman, a medical consultant from the centre for palliative care gave the main palliative care presentation, after which the teachers expressed their feelings around what they really learned from the meeting.
A community charity shop was organized after the training. We are the first who are making products and are selling our own products to the public as well as to community volunteers. The shop started when one of the Palliative Care Assistants of Compassionate Narayanganj began making products such as vases, key rings, pen cases etc. The teachers showed interest in these products and bought different things form the shop as well.
“Compassionate Narayanganj” is a pilot project which includes a unique collaboration between Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Worldwide Hospice & Palliative Care Alliances (WHPCA) and Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) to ensuring that palliative care is available throughout the country. This project is funded by UKAid.