While communities in rural areas are the traditional focus of aid and development from various sources, the rapidly growing population in urban slum areas continues to be neglected. They are also unable to access affordable health care near them. BRAC launched the urban health centre in 2018 as a social enterprise model with an aim to provide comprehensive general healthcare services to the urban population through a centre-based approach, by leveraging its frontline community healthcare workers. There is currently a pool of 30 doctors providing consultation services at the centres, including gynaecology, medicine, surgery and paediatrics. The doctors work in rotational shifts in the morning and afternoon.
The pathology lab integrated at the health centre can conduct over 40 tests, covering fields spanning haematology, microbiology, biochemistry and many more. A trained lab technician oversees the pathology process, and an experienced pathologist endorses the test results to ensure quality. These health centres also provide imaging tests like USG and ECG, which are conducted by qualified doctors and sonologists.
The health centres consist of delivery units that provide life-saving maternal healthcare services including safe deliveries which are performed by midwives under the supervision of doctors. The model medicine shops at the health centres are stocked with an array of pharmaceutical products to ensure the availability of quality medicine at the health centres.
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