Home Health Khulna’s coastal upazila Koyra faces severe challenges in accessing medical services
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Khulna’s coastal upazila Koyra faces severe challenges in accessing medical services

Khulna Correspondent: Residents of the coastal upazila of Koyra in Khulna complain they have long been suffering from various diseases due to salinity in the area amid lack of proper medical services.
Women, children, and the elderly are the most affected, the UNB correspondent has found during a recent visit to some coastal villages.

Waterborne infections like diarrhea have become common. Women, in particular, are increasingly suffering from serious conditions like cervical cancer as many avoid visiting health centres for lack of facilities. Many are succumbing to these diseases due to a lack of proper medical care.
Pregnant women are especially at risk due to inadequate medical services. They often resort to village doctors, leading to increased complications. The cessation of cesarean operations at the hospital has further discouraged pregnant women from seeking hospital care.

Consequently, many choose to deliver at home or in substandard clinics, resulting in severe complications, infections, and even death.
According to sources from the Koyra Upazila Family Planning Office and Health Complex, out of 2,987 deliveries last year (2023), only 265 women were admitted to the health complex. In the current year, up to June, out of 1,084 deliveries, only 58 women were admitted.

Additionally, 825 women last year and 384 this year have undergone cesarean operations at various institutions. Last year, 56 cesarean operations were performed at the health complex by the then Civil Surgeon Dr. Sujat Ahmed, who is currently under investigation for misuse of power and is on forced leave.
Gynecologist Dr. Fatema Zohra, who commutes from Khulna to Koyra, has been irregular in her attendance, leading to multiple inquiries and suspension of her salary. She claims that the lack of a general anesthesia machine prevents her from performing operations safely.

Dr. Rezaul Karim, the Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer, confirmed Dr. Zohra’s irregular attendance and mentioned that multiple show-cause notices have been issued. Her salary was reinstated upon her promise of regular attendance, but irregularities persisted, leading to further complaints and suspension of her salary. The new Civil Surgeon of Khulna, Dr. Md. Shafiqul Islam, mentioned that complaints have been forwarded to the Directorate General’s office for further action.
The Director General of Health Services, Professor Dr. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, assured that the matter would be looked into.

On July 10, a three-member committee was formed to investigate the medical services in Koyra, with a report expected within seven days. Tariqul Islam, president of Koyra’s Human Rights Bureau and a journalist, highlighted the plight of residents who must travel 120 kilometers to Khulna for minor ailments, a journey that is unaffordable for many.

Rahima Begum from Maheshwaripur Union near the Sundarbans shared that her daughter-in-law had to give birth with the help of a village midwife due to the absence of doctors, resulting in ongoing health issues.

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