Village report on prevailing health service condition at micro level in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has passed 41 years after independence and soon she will be celebrating the golden jubilee of her liberty. Starting from the ruins of liberation war, this country is always struggling to progress, still the countrymen are not enjoying the desired level service in all the sectors, although, Bangladesh has achieved some remarkable feats in some sectors. Among all the services provided for the citizens, the significance of health service cannot be over emphasized. This study is focused on the perception of health service from a micro level perspective focusing on Kaptai upazilla of Rangamati district.

As stated in the millennium development goal, health service is a core point of interest for the government. From citizen’s point of view it is one of the fundamental rights. Bangladesh government has its well defined policies and goals to fulfill her mandate in this regard. The hill tract areas draw some special attention in this matter just like any other sector because of its inherent and distinct attributes. Like other upazillas, Kaptai is a hub of mainstream bangalis and ethnic communities of the hills tracts. Due to the presence of abundant cultural and natural diversity, Kaptai is an intriguing place for observing socio-economic dynamics among different communities. Rangamati is the district where 52% of the population comprises different tribal people of ethnic minority. 82% of the total population lives in hilly village areas surrounded by forests and therefore they lack basic facilities. Accessibility to healthcare and other social services is minimal and difficult for the villagers. As a result, it is hard for service sectors to provide services at these locations. The long unresolved political dispute between the tribal and non tribal peoples further impedes the service sectors movement as well. An overwhelming majority of people in CHT still live below the poverty line mainly due to lack of economic opportunities and proper functioning of social services coupled with illiteracy and high rates of unemployment. The poor health status is an underlying factor for its very low participation in economic development too. Health, nutrition and population services in CHT have multiple challenges of geographical, environmental, infrastructural and institutional aspects. The terrain is rough, communities are scattered and road infrastructure is often poor or nonexistent. The existing government or private clinics are usually located on the roadside but transport to and from the clinics that exist, are irregular and costly. Many communities do not use the existing health facilities because of these factors. They mostly prefer taking the services of traditional healers or witch doctors. This study aims to measure the level of health service by assessing the perception of the people on health related issues.

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