COVID-19: Community Paramedics (CPs) join the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in Fighting the Pandemic

Initial vocational education and training
The dearth of skilled healthcare professionals in Bangladesh during the global COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the demand for CP services at the grassroot level. With support from Swisscontact’s ASTHA project, CPs have been relentlessly working to continue their regular healthcare services in rural areas of Bangladesh, whilst simultaneously working with the local government to control the spread of COVID-19 through community awareness activities. Moreover, they are keeping an eye out for early detection of the disease and referring patients to appropriate government healthcare facilities.

Acknowledging these efforts and qualification of the CPs, the Civil Surgeons of the GoB in Rangpur and Sylhet Divisions have also particularly selected CPs for the collection of nasal swab samples from potential COVID-19 patients. On an average 8/10 samples are collected daily in Sunamganj district. This is a very important and skill-intensive service that can contribute substantially in tackling the current public health crisis. Such an acknowledgement of CPs competency has strengthened the project’s efforts in emphasizing the importance of CP services in the healthcare system of the country.

Achieving Sustainability Towards Healthcare Access (ASTHA) has been facilitating the professional CP training program and working with the public and private sectors to promote and enhance CP services to ensure access to quality primary healthcare in Bangladesh.