MaMoni Stories during COVID: Hosneara Aktar (Midwife)

Hosneara Aktar provides antenatal services to a pregnant woman in Shahebrampur UH&FWC
Photo: Save the Children
Hosneara Aktar (24) is battling against the race of COVID-19 to continue serving the mothers and newborns in her community. From March till now, she has counseled and provided health check-ups to over 200 expectant mothers and has delivered 22 babies. Happy Khatun, one of the mothers who delivered her second child during this time exclaimed, “We were preparing for childbirth at home as we anticipated there will be no healthcare center open at this crisis moment. We were also worried if we could manage things at home without a skilled birth attendant. Three days before my due date, Hosneara apa called me to say that the center is open. They have taken measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well. I was so relieved to know this and went for my childbirth.”

Hosneara completed her Diploma in Midwifery course in 2018 and joined her current work station at Shahebrampur Union Health and Family Welfare Center in 2019. Since then things were going as usual until the first COVID-19 patient was identified in Madaripur district in mid-March. Like everywhere else, families were frightened to go out of home for medical assistance. Given the number of pregnant women and mothers with due dates, Hosneara felt the need to continue maternal care services for which she needed to ensure the families that they are in safe hands. She and the Family Planning Inspector engaged the local Union Parishad Chairman and members to raise awareness for the mothers on continuing medical consultations. Hosneara too kept calling mothers on their mobile phones reminding them of their check-up and delivery dates as well as how they should maintain health safety instructions during COVID-19. She quickly took a step to set up a handwashing corner outside her healthcare center to maintain hand hygiene, use Personal Protection Equipment, and keep distance while caring for her patients.

“I am trying to continue my services- day and night. My family is anxious about me, but it’s a commitment that I made when I took this as a profession to serve mothers who need support during the most crucial time in their lives”, said Hosneara when asked if she felt any mental or physical stress working in this pandemic situation.

Every day, our frontline healthcare professionals like Hosneara are trying their best to save lives in these difficult times. It is time to acknowledge their efforts and help build a community of compassion, trust, and love.

~ 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.