HFC member testimonies

Stories by some of our members

Nur Vanu, Dhaka 2020

Nur is 29 years old and lives in the Bhashantek slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh with her small family. Nur and her family live from day to day, below the poverty line. As she got pregnant once again, the family were facing a medical, social and financial problem. Nur had had two miscarriages before and this time when she got pregnant, her husband informed her that if the delivery did not go well, he would divorce her.

Health Family Care (HFC) staff members organized a Promotional Activities Session (PSA) to orient Health Family Care in the Bhashantek slum. Some community members expressed interest in becoming members of HFC, Nur being one of them. She was concerned that she would have to raise a lot of money to give birth. Instead, she joined HFC because HFC provides the full amount of delivery costs.

Before the birth, Nur went to HFC's medical center (in the central point of Bhashantek slum in Dhaka) for antenatal care and to receive free medical consultation from our HFC doctor. She gave birth at the clinic in Bhashantek (approved by HFC) and HFC paid the full cost for both the care and the medicine needed.

After a few days, Nur’s baby was admitted to the government children's hospital in Dhaka on the advice of the HFC medical advisor. During this time, the medical advisor and other HFC staff contacted her for mental support. HFC also covered all costs related to the baby's care as a PNC. After 6 days, her baby was cured.

Nur now lives with her baby and her other family members in the Bhashantek slum. They are happy to benefit from this kind of health services, financial and medico-social support from Health Family Care. In total, Nur Vanu and her family will have paid 250 BDT ($2.94) for 4 family members as a contribution to HFC per month for a one-year contract for medical and social services.

Aynal Hoque, Dhaka 2020

Aynal lives in the slum of Bhashantek. He is 5 years old.

One day, he came with his mother to the HFC medical centre because of his disease. The HFC medical centre is located in the centre of Bhashantek slum, close to their home. Aynal’s mother showed her HFC card to the doctor and discussed her son's illness. The doctor examined and diagnosed his tonsillitis, free of charge. The doctor advised him and his mother to maintain good hygiene. He prescribed tonsillitis medicines with the doses and times of taking them. He then advised them to get the medication at the Day and Night pharmacy, a licensed partner of HFC. They paid 40% of the total cost of the medication at Day Night Drug House because HFC pays 60%. They also received benefits for purchasing the medicine. Aynal took full-dose medications on a regular basis, as advised by HFC's doctor. After a while he felt better and recovered from his illness. HFC also came to their home for routine follow-up during his illness.

When Aynal came with his mother to the HFC medical centre in Bhashantek to meet the HFC doctor while other patients were waiting for treatment. She informed the other patients that her son was cured because the doctor at HFC provided them with good treatment and medicine. Aynal and his mother are very grateful to HFC and Aynal showed his smiling face as a symbol of happiness and thanks to Health Family Care.

Sharmeen Akter, Dhaka 2020

Sharmeen lives below the poverty line in the Bhashantek slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh and was told by other HFC members that Health Family Care provides medical services to the poor in the Bhashantek slum. Sharmeen then continued to participate in a HFC promotional session and after discussing with her husband, she became a member of HFC.

HFC has a medical centre in the slum of Bhashantek, where a licensed doctor visits every working day. Now, because of COVID 19, the HFC hotline is open for medical consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sharmeen used the HFC helpline to access medical services to help with her illness and that of her son. The doctor provided her with a consultation according to her needs and advised her to contact one of the health service providers from the HFC network. The doctor made a prescription by text message and sent it to the approved partner Day Night Drug House in Bhashantek, and Sharmeen went there to collect the medication for her and her son. She paid 40% of the total cost of the medicines to Day Night Drug House. HFC will cover 100% of the cost of the medicines for pregnant women and pay 60% of the total cost of medicines for illnesses.

Before becoming a member of HFC, Sharmeen’s situation was not good because a lot of money was spent on medical services. She would go to the pharmacy without medical consultation, although this was detrimental to her and her family.

After becoming a member, she realized that HFC takes care of 100% of delivery charges and that HFC pays 60% of the total cost of the diagnostic test for illnesses. As a member of HFC, she made a small contribution, but she got medical services and partly covered medicine, that would have cost more than what she paid to HFC. That is why she is very happy to be a member of HFC.

Fatema, Dhaka 2020

Fatema is an elderly woman fighting poverty on a daily basis, living in the Bhashantek slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Before becoming a member of HFC, Fatema’s situation was terrible because she would go directly to the pharmacy without a doctor's prescription, creating a risk of getting the wrong treatment.

Since she became a member of HFC, her situation has changed. There is a HFC medical centre in the middle of the slum of Bhashantek where HFC members can obtain medical services, so the HFC doctor is near her house. From time to time, Fatema comes to get medical services because of her illness. One day, she got burns on her leg that scared her, so she came to the HFC medical centre for medical services. The doctor prescribed her medication and advised her to self-care. The doctor also sent her to the Day Night Drug House in Bhashantek to collect medicine. She paid 40% of the total cost of the medicines because of the agreement between HFC and Day Night Drug House, meaning HFC will pay 60% of the total drug cost in case of illness. HFC staff later visited her home during her illness as part of a routine follow-up. After a few days, the burn on her leg healed. Fatema is very pleased to receive this type of medical, financial and social services from Health Family Care.

Miraz Howlader, Dhaka 2020

Miraz is a member of HFC, living in the slum of Bhashantek. He supports his family on a daily basis and they all live below the poverty line. During a home visit by HFC staff, he learned about the medical and health coverage by HFC and realized that at least four members of his family would benefit from it.

Before becoming a member of HFC, Miraz shared an experience from a few years ago with us, when another organization was working in Bhashantek. The staff of this organization collected 100 BDT ($1.72) from most of the families in Bhashantek, assuring them that they would provide medical and health services. Miraz paid 100 BDT to the staff of this organization, but after collecting the money, the organisation did not provide any medical or health services to the community of Bhashantek.

When HFC started their activities in Bhashantek, Miraz was observing the activities that HFC provided to the members of the organization. He saw the HFC's medical centre in the slum of Bhashantek and that the doctor from HFC would go there to prescribe medicines or give consultations to HFC members. He then decided to become member.

Miraz now benefits from the medical services of HFC Medical Center through regular consultations with the doctor. The doctor also gives advice without medication as part of preventive care of illnesses. He benefits from the service when purchasing medicines and through diagnostics test for him and his family. HFC staff members regularly communicates with them in terms of home visits, home visits during illness, routine follow-ups, hospital visits and post-hospital visits. In the critical situation created as a result of the Covid-19 virus, HFC helpline helps members obtain medical consultation/services from the doctor over phone. Miraz is very happy to be a member of HFC to obtain benefits and has also encouraged other poor people in the Bhashantek slum to become members.

Hasna Hena Nupur, Dhaka 2020

“I'm Hasna Hena Nupur, 19, and I live in the Bhashantek slum. I am 9 months pregnant and my due date is May 3, 2020. As this is my first pregnancy, I was very nervous and although my husband has a very low income, we were wondering how we would manage the cost of the delivery. I then heard about HFC's services from one of my neighbors who received them free of charge during her delivery and I also got detailed information from the community facilitator during the group session. I became a member of HFC during my 7 months of pregnancy and was not able to see a doctor due to lack of money. In the meantime, the lockdown has begun, but I am very grateful to HFC for continuing to offer its services through a hotline, which I have full accessibility to talk to the doctor, who hears my problem and provides me with essential medications and instructions on the danger sign, when to seek help and when to go to the hospital during this time, and also sends me to the hospital for my check-up when I complain of decreased fetal movement. She has asked me to go to their pharmacy where I can get all my medication for free by simply showing my HFC card"

"In these times of crisis, where My husband has no earnings even we don't have enough money to buy food, I was thinking how I could manage the cost of delivery. In that time HFC suggest me to go their prescribed hospital for delivery (which is very near to our slum so I didn't face any problem of transportation in this lockdown) and by the grace of Almighty I delivered a baby girl by cesarean section with full free of cost and they also provide me all the medicines freely. Not only that, in this crisis moment of Lockdown when my husband has no income that time HFC provides us 3 months (April, May & June) free contribution. Now I feel lucky that HFC is standing by me as a family during this time of crisis.”

Roksana Begum, Dhaka 2020

Roksana is a member of Health Family Care living in the Bhashantek slum in Dhaka with her family. All family members live in one small rented room. She was one of the first members to give birth using Health Family Care services. When HFC began working in the Bhashantek slum to provide health coverage and social and medical services, she shared her experience with HFC staff, who went door-to-door inviting people from the community to participate in the Promotional Sessions Activities (PSAs) in each lot of the Bhashantek slum. The situation was not so good for getting medical services at home and doctors were not coming to the slum. Roksana joined the PSA to learn about HFC's activities, benefits and services. As was pregnant and poor and her husband worked daily, she then discussed with her husband about admitting HFC as a member. Her husband gave her permission to become a member of HFC, which she did.

After becoming a member of HFC, Roksana is very happy to be able to benefit from the medical services of HFC. She went to the HFC doctor at the HFC Medical Centre in Bhashantek for a check-up, the doctor saw her and prescribed some necessary medication. She went to the Day Night Drug House, our partner, to pick up her free medication.

HFC staff went to Rokhsana's home for a home visit, as a routine follow-up to establish a functional relationship and provide health services. The HFC doctor consulted her before the birth for a balanced diet, nutritious food, rest and regular check-ups. When her due date arrived, the doctor at HFC referred her to the partner clinic who ensured her delivery was safe and in good conditions. HFC staff went to the clinic to visit the newborn and the mother. HFC staff later visited her home with a sample of a love gift with a toy for her baby.

Roksana informed other members of the community that she received many services from HFC and that they could become members like her to get medical services. Some have joined after being inspired by her. During periods of danger in poor communities, Health Family Care supports its members.