Government approves dedicated drug list for Community Paramedics: A big step towards ensuring quality healthcare in rural Bangladesh

Community Paramedics will now comply to a dedicated drug list for prescription of essential medicines in rural underserved communities of Bangladesh. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of Bangladesh has provided the official approval that allows the use of this list.  

Community Paramedics in Bangladesh are accredited mid-level healthcare professionals who are providing primary healthcare services. Previously they would have to comply to a government enforced drug list for all community level health workers which was limited to only 35 over-the-counter drugs. However, Community Paramedics have the qualifications to prescribe better and more drugs within their remit. The new list consists of 60 approved drugs which therefore expands the scope for these practitioners in prescribing better medicines and providing improved primary healthcare services. While at the same time, this drug list will also serve as an official guideline to aware them about their limitations.

Swisscontact’s ASTHA project has facilitated the development and approval of this comprehensive drug list. In collaboration with its government stakeholders, the Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council and concerned officials under the Directorate General of Health Services, the project has persistently put forth efforts in emphasising this important agenda. The approved list will now ensure better primary healthcare services, as well as support the government in monitoring quality of healthcare at grassroots level.