Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Award Finalists 2023: How Shanta Holding is ensuring quality healthcare for RMG workers
The project was designed to provide high-quality healthcare services with empathy, while maintaining affordability to the ready-made garment (RMG) workers and their families living in Ashulia, Savar, and Gazipur, as well as to the neighboring communities, with a special emphasis on underprivileged women and children.

The hospital was constructed with a total investment of Tk. 100 crore, creating a modern and state of-the-art healthcare facility. An additional Tk. 25 crore was invested in cutting-edge medical equipment, ensuring that the hospital was equipped to deliver top-notch care. Directly served approximately 20 lac individuals since inception, the Ashulia Women and Children Hospital has transformed the lives of a significant portion of the community. The hospital’s missionto provide healthcare services equivalent to that of a higher secondary medical center has resulted in improved well-being and health outcomes for these beneficiaries. Beyond the direct beneficiaries, the hospital has also indirectly benefited the numerous garments factories in the Ashulia area, which employ a substantial portion of the local workforce. In addition to providing medical care, the project has actively engaged in capacity building and knowledge sharing. A total of 105 training sessions and workshops have been conducted, involving about 2,000 individuals. These sessions have empowered individuals with essential healthcare knowledge,
contributing to the overall health and resilience of the community.

Some of the notable impacts that have significantly improved the lives of the project’s
beneficiaries include:

  1. Affordable Healthcare Access: Offering medical treatment at around 50% reduced cost and
    medicines at a subsidized cost compared to standard hospital rates in the same community
  2. Promoting Natural Childbirth: Facilitating approximately 18,000 childbirths since 2016, with an
    impressive 63% of these deliveries being natural births, promoting maternal and infant health and
    well-being. Ashulia Women and Children Hospital offers Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section
    (VBAC) as a safe and supported option for women who have had caesarean sections.
  3. Cataract Surgery Impact: Conducting approximately 6,500 cataract surgeries between 2010
    and 2019, restoring vision and enhancing the quality of life for countless individuals.
  4. Managing the TB Epidemic in RMG Factory Workers in Bangladesh: During the period spanning
    from 2014 to 2016, Ashulia Women and Children Hospital (AWCH) embarked on a comprehensive
    health screening initiative, targeting 600,000 employees from 300 different garment factories. This
    proactive effort resulted in the successful diagnosis and complete recovery by Directly Observed
    Treatment, Short Course of around 1,000 Tuberculosis (TB) patients over the course of three years.
  5. Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course (DOTS) Center at AWCH: The hospital has been
    offering the government-approved Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course (DOTS) program
    since 2006, providing this service free of charge. Under this program, individuals diagnosed with
    tuberculosis visit the center, where they take their prescribed medications under the direct
    supervision of center’s trained representatives. To date, approximately 4,200 patients have
    benefited from this program of the center.
  6. Benefits for Garment Workers: Establishing corporate agreement with approximately 400
    garment factories, leading to healthcare agreements that benefit around 700,000 garment
    workers who receive treatment from the Ashulia Women and Children Hospital (AWCH).
    Additionally, the hospital actively engages in awareness campaigns to ensure these individuals
    are well-informed and educated about the available healthcare services.
  7. EPI Vaccination Program and Maternal Support: Ashulia Women and Children Hospital plays an
    integral role in bolstering the government’s immunization and vaccination program through the
    Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), which operates for 359 days annually. The program not
    only focuses on providing essential immunization to infants and young children, spanning from
    newborns (0 days) to those up to 23 months old.
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