The number of patients in the community clinics sees a steady rise as the common people prefer to get health services at the locality instead of going to upazila and district hospitals during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
There are 205 community clinics, mostly in remote areas, in nine upazilas of Bagerhat district.
Of them, 32 community clinics are in Bagerhat Sadar, 51 in Morrelganj, 19 in Sharankhola, 13 in Mongla, 12 in Kachua, 24 in Rampal, 16 in Fakirhat, 19 in Chitalmari and 19 in Mollahat upazila.
In each of the clinics, a community health care provider (CHCP) gives regular services five days a week from 9:00am to 3:00pm while a health assistant and a family welfare assistant are employed for field level service three days a week.
Rasul Islam Rubel, CHCP at Tengrakhali Community Clinic in Kachua upazila, said 35 to 40 patients come to the clinic on an average every day.
"I have got two PPEs, five masks and hand sanitizer from the upazila health office.
We are providing regular services to the grassroots people amid risk as many patients have a lot in common with the symptoms of a coronavirus infection.
"Patients come to us with fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, stomach ache, headache, vomiting and diarrhoea. We try our best to serve them, along with giving awareness advice," he said.
Runa, 36, of Tangrakhali area, said she got medicine for fever and runny nose when she went to the community clinic.
''This community clinic gives much service when we do not want to go to the upazila health complex in the time of corona. We get medicine free of cost here," said a woman who came with her two-year-old baby suffering from fever.
Malina Biswas, CHCP at Malipatan Community Clinic, said, ''I have got PPE but as our clinic has no electricity it is impossible to wear it during the hot weather. We are serving around 40 patients daily, most of them women and children."
Kachua Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Md Monjurul Alam said they provided PPEs, masks, and hand sanitisers to CHCPs of 12 community clinics in the upazila for protection from coronavirus infection.
"In this critical period, the community clinics are providing regular health services to the grassroots people. Our health complex has also continued treatment. Two Covid-19 patients have already cured and three others are under treatment here. Our pharmacist Abul Kalam Azad, who regularly served the patients, has been tested Covid-19 positive," he said.
Bagerhat Civil Surgeon KM Humayun Kabir said, "Safety equipment has been provided by the district health office as staff of the community clinics are serving the people in remote areas during the coronavirus outbreak. We are also trying to increase the capacity of community clinics."