MaMoni Stories during COVID: Shilpi Rani Bormon (Midwife)

Shilpi Rani Bormon checks the blood pressure of a pregnant woman in Char Chandia UH&FWC
Photo: Save the Children
COVID-19 pandemic has poignantly highlighted the critical role that midwives and other health workers play in protecting peoples; health and saving lives. This is a story of a midwife who is working in a remote healthcare center of Char Chandia Union Health and Family Welfare Center (UH&FWC) under Sonagazi upazila of Feni district since 2019.

Even in the current crisis situation, Shilpi Rani Bormon (24) is continuing services despite obstacles from her family, society and the life-threatening corona virus risking her life. At times she feels disorganized and helpless on deciding her course of actions too. Most of the residents here are not well-educated and have less awareness on maintaining the safety instructions to prevent contracting this deadly virus. Yet, they mostly depend on this center for their essential medical care. Shilpi has never experienced a pandemic before thus has less confidence in being fully prepared to save these people. She says, “being a part of this noble profession, I cannot keep myself away from these people who now needs me more than ever. We are going through a crisis time, but we are frontline health worker, if we don’t give our best now, then what is the point of choosing this profession?”
This healthcare center falls under the purview of USAID’s Maternal and Newborn Care Strengthening Project’s (MaMoni MNCSP) project areas.

The project has been working closely with the Bangladesh government in providing technical support to ensure quality maternal and newborn healthcare services. As part of which, building capacities for the service providers has been playing a crucial role from the beginning. Hence, service providers like Shilpi and others are always in close contact with the project officials which she capitalized during this challenging time. She sought for guidance and support from the MaMoni MNCSP team as well as from her supervisors in continuing the regular services. She soon learned about the safety guidelines for different stages of caregiving and using personal protection equipment.

With the project’s support, she also managed to set up a hand washing corner with necessary amenities at the entrance of the center. During her counseling sessions to mothers, she emphasizes on proper hand washing method, wearing masks, maintaining personal hygiene and social distancing too.

Though in the beginning of this pandemic, a sudden decline in patients was seen, soon this changed, thanks to her constant awareness raising sessions and safety measures taken in the center that build confidence among the patients to overcome fear of contracting this virus on their visit to the center. Shilpi Rani Bormon is hopeful that the trust she has gained over the last couple of months dedicating herself here would motivate her patients to resume visiting soon. She is already seeing mothers coming back to seek antenatal, delivery, postnatal, family planning and newborn related healthcare services. Another hero who is fighting all odds to ensure safe motherhood in Bangladesh.

~ USAID’s MaMoni Maternal and Newborn Care Strengthening Project supports the government in achieving its goal of reducing maternal and newborn death rate in ten districts of Bangladesh, where ensuring a safe journey of motherhood, availability of quality services and resources are of high concern. Some of the project’s various interventions in its project areas include improving facility readiness and development of skills of health workers through training and counselling.

Disclaimer: The COVID-19 response stories reflect the continuity of essential maternal and newborn care related services amidst the pandemic in the project areas. No additional USAID funding has been mobilized for COVID-19 response. MaMoni MNCSP team mobilized local government and community people for additional resources as well as provided the service providers with necessary instructions and government guidelines to prepare their facilities to serve properly under the circumstances.