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Bangladesh: greater role for fathers in maternal support


Emergency | Bangladesh | PUBLISHED ON May 24th 2019
Awareness session to inform men about "responsible" fatherhood in Cox's Bazar refugee camps

Awareness session to inform men about "responsible" fatherhood in Cox's Bazar refugee camps | ©Farid Alam Khan/HI

HI has supplied more than 800 men with information on how to be ‘responsible’ fathers in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

From March 2018 to March 2019, an HI project encouraged men of all ages to be responsible fathers and ensure a ‘risk free’ motherhood for women in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar.

"In Bangladesh, particularly in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, where people mainly have a patriarchal view of society, men don’t know enough about potential complications during pregnancy and childbirth or the medical needs of mothers. In an emergency, for example, men decide if a mother goes to a health centre, and they are not always aware it’s a priority. Complications during pregnancy or a difficult childbirth can be culturally associated with "bad luck” - a belief that gives rise to social stigmatization that prevents fathers from promoting maternal health. For HI, it was essential to inform men of all ages, including the youngest, of their role in a ‘risk free’ motherhood for women", says Farid Alam Khan, HI's communication officer in Bangladesh. 

HI implemented an awareness campaign and trained some 800 fathers, health workers, teachers, volunteers and others on their role during pregnancy and childbirth, including possible complications, how to obtain medical help, what care is required, and so on. HI also organized photo and video training for students, distributed awareness aids in schools, developed and broadcast radio messages and produced awareness murals

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