Afsana has a healthy daughter
Afsana Begum from Aditmari is one of five children of a bicycle repairer and was educated up to Class 7. At the age of 18, she was married to Nahid, a garment worker who lives in Dhaka and, within a year she was pregnant. Since neither her mother nor mother-in-law could tell her much advice on looking after herself and the baby while she was pregnant, Afsana went to see the local Rural Birth Attendant, Bashonti Bala. Ms Bala gave her a lot of information about ante-, natal and post-natal care and advised Afsana to attend the weekly ante-natal clinic at the Family Welfare Centre run by RDRS in nearby Mohiskhocha Union.
As recommended, Afsana visited the clinic on a regular basis and attended classes on such topics as complications, nutritious food, preparing for the birth, rest, breast- and complementary feeding, and HIV/AIDs. During the pregnancy, Afsana had 6 check-ups and faithfully followed any advice given. She continued to receive the supplements needed for a healthy baby and easy birth. But when she was 36 weeks gone, Afsana began to suffer abdominal pain and backache. Going to the clinic for help, she was referred to a doctor at the Mother and Child Welfare Centre who wanted her to have blood tests and an ultrasonogram. Because of her poverty, she asked for help and RDRS was able to assist her with the costs of these. The tests did not show anything wrong and Afsana went home again. But two weeks before her due date, she felt uncomfortable and called on Bashonti Bala who told her to go immediately to the Aditmari Maternity Centre. There, her labour pains began in earnest until, assisted by the Staff Nurse, her daughter was born without complications, weighing in at a healthy 8.8lbs. Very pleased with the quality of service and friendly attitude of RDRS’s health services, Afsana now tells all her friends and neighbours that they, too, should go to the ante-natal clinics as soon as they know they are pregnant.