On Thursday, May 18, 2023, the Bandar Upazila Health Complex (BUHC) of Bangladesh launched palliative care services under their Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) service delivery in collaboration with the Compassionate Narayanganj; a Community-based Palliative Care Project.
This project is an Upazila-centric community-based palliative care model project for creating evidence on integrating palliative care into the primary health care system of Bangladesh. The project serves as a partnership between the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), AYAT Education, the Department of Palliative Medicine at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, and St Christopher’s Hospice.
Besides the outdoor services at the NCD corner at Bandar UHC, there will be two kinds of referral services:
1) Home Care Service to the seriously ill and bedridden patients
2) Referral to the Department of Palliative Medicine, BSMMU, or any other higher facilities, if required for critical patients.
All the staff, doctors, nurses, and Community Health Workers (CHWs) have been sensitised to identify patients requiring palliative care and for appropriate referral to the program. A 3-day face-to-face training on palliative care is also provided to the Physicians, Nurses, & CHWs of the UHC. The day-to-day functioning of the NCD PC services is being done by the NCD team of the BUHC with support from the project Physician, Nurse, Palliative Care Assistant, and Community Mobilizer. The project is also working on establishing an Upazila-based Youth Community-Volunteer Network to support with medical care and volunteering.
The Line Director, Non-Communicable Disease Control (NCDC), DGHS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh, recognised this project as a possible “Palliative Care Flagship Program of Bangladesh”, and instructed the District Civil Surgeon and Bandar UHC lead Medical Officer to get actively involved in the functioning of the PC services under NCD corner so as to integrate palliative care services offered by the UHC into the primary health care delivery system.
The Civil Surgeon of Narayanganj District in his inaugural speech said, “I am happy that the Compassionate Narayanganj Project selected Bandar UHC and allow us to become a part of the evidence-building initiative as the first step of integration of palliative care into the primary healthcare system of Bangladesh. This is a milestone step.” Further, he proposed the establishment of two dedicated beds in the hospital for critical PC patients for whom hospitalisation is required to relieve their pains and sufferings.
Sabikun Naher Urmy
A great initiative, Alhamdolillah