Expressing concern over poor health coverage in Chattogram Hill Tracts, speakers yesterday underscored the need for providing training to women in CHT areas on primary health care and midwifery as a solution.
They also called for ensuring availability of essential drugs, surgical equipment and increasing the number of ambulance in hill areas.
They were addressing a discussion titled "Reproductive Health Safety of Women and Teenagers of CHT in Light with COVID-19 Reality", organised jointly by Bangladesh Adivasi Nari Network and Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha to mark International Indigenous Day.
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population.
While presenting the keynote speech, member secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Nari Network Chanchana Chakma said people of CHT are deprived of health service in want of health and family welfare centres and community clinics at union and ward levels.
Mahbuba Haque Kumkum, programme manager, Simavi Bangladesh, said coronavirus created a crisis in availability of sanitary napkins and other essential items required for woman during menstruation. In want of these amenities, most women are forced to use unhygienic products, which escalate their health risks, she said.
Gender and reproductive health expert Dr Julia Ahmed said Covid-19 created a hindrance to woman's birth control and family planning. "In want of proper information and birth control amenities, the number of unplanned pregnancy has increased," she said.
Executive Director of Deepto Foundation Jakia K Hasan stressed that like other parts of the country, during the pandemic, incidents of violence against women and children and child marriage have also increased in CHT areas.