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Humanitarian response, Health
Advocacy, CARE staff, Disease, Volunteer
06 August 20
Finding CARE’s real-life humanitarian heroes
Interview of AKM Anisuzzaman
Program Manager-SRH, CARE Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar
I am AKM Anisuzzaman, age-50, working as Program Manager-sexual reproductive health (SRH) sector of CARE Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar, emergency humanitarian settings. I have been working in the development sector for 25 years and for last two years I am working with CARE Bangladesh in the world’s biggest humanitarian response at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
A humanitarian worker is someone who feel responsible for marginalized people in society and committed to do something for them. Humanitarian workers work for human beings, for society and for marginalized people’s wellbeing.
As a person, I feel responsible for helping the marginalized. During my school life I was a scout and by being a scout I developed the spirit of humanitarian work and working for the community. After my post graduate degree I started a job with a national non-government organization for marginalized people.
We are providing sexual reproductive health services, so initially it was really a big challenge for getting women and girls to access the services due to lack of awareness, misconception, religious beliefs etc. amongst the Rohingya community. And in the Covid-19 response we faced some challenges, like difficulties in keeping social distance due to the overcrowded population of the camps, different kinds of rumour among communities about Covid-19 etc. To overcome these challenges we introduced doorstep services through developing outreach service models. In each outreach team there is one midwife, two host community volunteers and five Rohingya volunteers. Each outreach team provides services in five spots in a week. We have also engaged Rohingya leaders, religious leaders and influential community members into our program to get their support to uptake SRH services.
We have realized that the continuous provision of SRH services is critical among the Rohingya refugees during the pandemic situation. Thus we have adapted different modalities like; one person enters into the facility at a time to provide services, not more than five people are allowed in the health education sessions, and every person must wear a mask while in the facilities and health education sessions. Personnel protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene materials are also essential for all frontline health workers to reduce mental stress while providing services to the clients. Realizing the gravity of needs and risk mitigation, CARE has ensured to provide PPE to health service providers and staff engaged in essential services for the refugees.
Yes, by working on emergency response, I feel it makes me feel like anything is possible and my internal realization now is that “I can do anything if I wish”. This is actually my inner change that if anyone can wish to do something he/she could able to do it.
It is really tough balancing working and home time especially in this Covid-19 pandemic situation. However, I segregate my whole day with different segment that helps me to complete my assigned task in a timely manner. Nowadays virtual communications is the main way I stay in touch with my family as I stay alone in Cox’s Bazar alone and my family members are staying in Dhaka which is four hundred kilometres away. After I clock off from a hard day’s work first, I communicate with my only lovely daughter and loving wife and spend some time talking with them. After that I cook food for myself. And before I go to bed, I watch TV.
Stay home, stay safe!!
Wear A Mask, Maintain social distancing!!!