Over the last 40 years, the Bangladesh Women's Health Coalition (BWHC) has provided various health services to 78.8 million women and children, overcoming numerous challenges in breaking taboos and social norms.
Started with family planning and menstruation regularisation services in 1984, the non-governmental organisation BWHC gradually expanded its services towards health awareness, rehabilitation, legal health, and women's rights till 2022.
According to a press release, BWHC Executive Director Sharif Mostafa Helal revealed these during a press conference at the Press Club on Thursday.
Chaired by BWHC Chairperson Nasimun Ara Haque, it was also attended by the Coalition’s Executive Committee Vice Chairman Jahanara Sadeque and member Rayhana Begum.
Mr Sharif said the BWHC, which was founded by Sandra M Kabir from her motivation to serve women in distress, has also worked in the brothel area when no one considered the health issues of sex workers.
The areas it works in include reproductive health, adolescent health, pre and post natal care, and health of elderly women and tea workers and indigenous community.
The chair told the journalists that the BWHC has been awarded by the government for successful performance in various services as well as international awards.
Mr Helal, in particular, mentioned about urban primary health care project which success has inspired the government to launch EPI in the country.
BWHC, which is also part of various national and global network alliances, started serving in Afghanistan before the coronavirus pandemic hit the world. But the work could not be continued due to the change in the Afghan government, which totally barred girls education.
The chairperson highlighted the coalition's future plans to work in early childhood marriage, as well as various upcoming health-related challenges, and stated that the campaign programme will be continued for the targeted group to meet the SDG goals of reducing maternal and child mortality rates through quality services.