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USAID, DFID officials visit health clinics in Ctg

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Staff Reporter
Country Representative of the Department for International Development (DFID) Sarah Cooke and the Deputy Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Paul Sabatine on Wednesday visited health clinics in Chittagong under the Smiling Sun (Surjer Hashi) network.
They observed Smiling Sun’s static and a satellite clinic service delivery for local communities, and interacted with Community Service Providers (CSPs), Surjer Hashi Community Shohojogi Group members, and health-care-seeking clients.
Through their urban health program and contributions to the NGO health service delivery project, they want to protect the poorest in Bangladesh from catastrophic health costs, said Sarah Cooke.
The poorest families must not have to choose between losing all their hard-earned savings, which risks their livelihoods, and losing a family member to a treatable condition, she said.
“We’ll be strengthening the coordination between different health service providers in order to create an effec-tive referral system for patients,” Sarah Cooke said.
Earlier this year, the two major development partners -- USAID and DFID-- joined hands to make quality healthcare more widely available for poor Bangladeshi families through the Smiling Sun network of health clinics, said a press release issued by the US Embassy in Dhaka.
Under this partnership, DFID provided an additional US $29 million to USAID’s five-year $54 million NGO Health Service Delivery Project, through which Smiling Sun clinics are able to reach several million additional people by providing basic health services that focus on improving women’s and children’s health in urban ar-eas.
Smiling Sun clinics provide essential healthcare services conveniently to the poorest people in Bangladesh through a network of 26 NGOs, 334 clinic locations and more than 6,666 community health workers.
The USAID-DFID partnership complements Bangladesh government’s efforts to reach the poor with high-quality healthcare at low or no cost.