Staff Correspondent: SNV Netherlands Development Organization organized a daylong Health & Family Planning Awareness Fair for garment workers at the premises of Sultan Uddin Memorial Academy, Sreepur, Gazipur on 29 June to increase the family planning awareness in the low-income settlements of garments workers and provide basic family planning consultation services through Health Camp.
A huge number of garment workers, community people and local stakeholders attended this awareness-raising event which is a part of the ‘Facilitating access to health for factory workers’ project with funding support from the Carrefour Foundation.
The project’s mandate is to create a comprehensive and easily accessible healthcare system for garment workers in five factories in Gazipur and Savar region. More than 10,000 workers have already been brought under a health insurance scheme under the project.
The event comprised of cultural events, stage drama, folk songs performance and video display to inform and educate the community people, especially the garment workers about family planning methods and maternal health.
Besides, the health camp, along with local Al-Hera Hospital, provided consultation services and medicines for pregnancy and general health issues to more than 100 mothers and children.
This Health & Family Planning Awareness Fair was the first event of a three-week Community Awareness Campaign. Over the next two weeks, similar awareness fair and health camps will be organized in Kaliakair and Ashulia respectively.
Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment exporter with over 4.2 million workers in the sector. Different studies reveal that about 80% of the workers are women and the majority of them do not have the access to basic health, hygiene and reproductive health care and rights. The causes are multiple: social barriers, inadequate structures, challenging working conditions, reluctance to raise these issues openly are only some of them. Many actors are already mobilizedat the national level, but there is still no global and/or institutionalized model.