Shumi has been working for the last six years as an operator for Medlar Apparels Ltd. Her husband too works in a factory and together they have a daughter who is a student of standard five. Shumi is from Barisal; she and her husband came to Dhaka to seek a better life and future for their daughter.
Shumi is a peer health educator (PHE) of the HERhealth project and has received five of its trainings. Prior to participating in the training, Shumi was not aware that water may contain so many germs, and not using sanitary napkins during menstruation may lead to many illnesses. After the trainings Shumi makes sure to boil water before drinking it and also uses sanitary napkins.
Shumi’s daughter did not like eating vegetables, but after Shumi received a handout on the benefits of eating vegetables and its importance to being healthy, she gave it to her daughter. She read it and has understood why we need to eat vegetables regularly. She eats vegetable regularly, developing a healthy eating habit.
Shumi has a neighbor who has a three year old son. Her son did not have a good appetite and did not want to eat. Shumi informed her neighbor of the trainings she received where she learned about the micronutrient powder. She learned the micronutrient powder helps to build a healthy appetite and fulfills the body’s vitamin requirements. Her neighbor listened to her and fed her child the micronutrient powder; now he eats properly and has a healthy appetite.
Shumi shared that she feels lucky to have been able to participate in the HERhealth project because it has taught her many things for a healthy lifestyle and has enabled her to help others as well.
Mitu has been living in Dhaka for the last 16 years and working for Hydroxide Knitwear Ltd. for the last 15 years. Her husband also works in Dhaka and they have two school going children. Mitu is also a peer health educator of the HERhealth project and has received five of its trainings.
After participating in training five, Mitu discussed the issue of cervical cancer with her husband. She expressed her wish to get herself tested for cervical cancer. Her husband was a bit hesitant and deemed it unnecessary for Mitu to get tested. She informed him about the training she received and its messages. Her husband then took her to BSMMU (Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University). She consulted a doctor there and then underwent a pap smear to check for cervical cancer. She received the test result after a week and found out she did not have cervical cancer. She shared with the trainers, now that she has found out she does not have cervical cancer, she wants to get herself vaccinated.
“Money is of no value to me. I want to be safe and healthy for my children.” shared Mitu. She also thanked the HERhealth for the trainings and its various important messages. She is grateful because she learned about cervical cancer before it was too late and has already informed a lot of her family members and friends so that they can also get themselves tested and be safe.
Shapla and her son came to Dhaka six years ago and she has been working in Apex Lingerie Ltd. Her husband is ill and lives in the village. She is a peer health educator of the HERhealth project and has completed the first training. She has learned a lot about personal hygiene and waterborne diseases. She confessed that she did not drink boiled water before the training. Shapla shared that her apartment had been struck by misfortune and fifty of her neighbors with whom she shared an apartment, suffered from diarrhea. This happened because the sewage line of the neighboring building and the water line in Shapla’s apartment got mixed. The fifty patients were taken to the Mohakhali ICCDRB hospital and one of them died. Fortunately, Shapla and her son were not affected by the disease because she started drinking boiled water after training one. She shared the messages of training one with other neighbors, but they did not pay any heed to her advises because of which they suffered from diarrhea too. When she went to visit her neighbors in the hospital, the doctors asked her how she was the only one in the apartment who was not affected. She then shared that after the training one of the HERhealth project, she realized the importance of boiling water before drinking, for which she had been able to save herself and her son.
Due to this incident, she has realized the importance of the trainings and wants to complete all six trainings of the HERhealth project. She also thanked the HERhealth team for the trainings.
Morjena Akter has been living in Dhaka with her husband and children for the last five years. She moved to Dhaka because she was in need of work and now she and her husband work at the same factory. She is a peer health educator (PHE) and has completed three trainings of the HERhealth project. She has already disseminated all the things she has learned to the female workers of her line.
Last month, while visiting her village, she got to that know her sister-in-law was six months pregnant and had not yet consulted any doctor. She thought this was very risky and discussed this matter with both her brother and sister-in-law and made them understand how important it is to consult a doctor at this period. She let them know of the five danger signs during pregnancy and that if an expecting mother does not visit a doctor she might fall victim to any of these five dangers. On the next day, she took both the expecting parents to the nearest hospital. After visiting the doctor and doing some tests, it was discovered that the baby was not in the correct position, so the doctor advised them to see a doctor every month and also that the baby should be delivered in a hospital. Now, both the parents are more aware of what they should be doing during this period and they thanked Morjena for her invaluable input to save the expecting mother and child. Morjena shared that she learned all these messages from the HERhealth project trainings in her factory and also that she is a PHE.
Morjena shared, “If I did not participate in training three of the project, I will not have been able to help my sister-in-law in her critical condition. I am glad I could share the messages of the trainings with her and I want to thank the HERhealth team for this initiative.”
Monowara is a 3rd year university student who has been working as a computer operator at Dada (Dhaka) Ltd. for the last four years. She is also a peer health educator of the HERhealth project and has received all the trainings.
Monowara shared the story of her friend Shathi. Before Shathi got married, she would frequently be infected with puss in her small intestine. After her marriage, when she conceived a child, she would often feel cold and have fever. In the eighth month, she experienced labor pain while she was in her village, and had to give birth without an experienced mid-wife. Unfortunately, Shathi’s baby did not survive and died after six hours. She bled a lot after the baby was born. She also had a seizure and fever. Although she was going through so much, none of her family members took her to a doctor and instead blamed her for the incident.
When Monowra went to visit her friend after her misfortune, she witnessed the situation and realized how her friend had been neglected and ignored. Then Monowara, against the wishes of Shathi’s family, took her to consult a doctor. The doctor treated Shathi for three days and diagnosed that Shathi has an infection in her vagina, which he later understood to be the long term effect of Shathi not getting treatment for the puss infection in her small intestine. The doctor informed them that if Shathi had received correct treatment during that time this misfortune would not have occurred. Shathi is getting treatment for her problems and is doing much better than before.
Monowara said that she is glad that she got the opportunity to be a part of the HERhealth project because she learned a lot about maternal health, which later helped her to save her friend. Shathi’s family did not know the importance of taking someone to the hospital if they have an early labor. If Monowara did not visit Shathi when she did, she would not have been able to take her to a doctor and diagnose the real problem and Shathi’s family too would have blamed her for the death of her child instead of understanding that she was ill. They have now realized their mistake and are taking good care of Shathi.
HERrespect training has been incredibly useful in my life. At present, I can understand the women’s importance in the family as well as in the factory. I was very ill-tempered and would become angry for simple reason. Nowadays, when I tend to be angry, I remind myself of the training. I have noticed the impact in my own life. I used to hit my wife for simple reasons even when she would be late in cooking. But now I don’t do that. I try to understand her situation and would rather talk to her if I have any problem.
Dipa is a PHE (Peer Health Educator) of HERhealth project. After training 5, Dipa disseminated learning about serious illness and reproductive and cervical cancer to other female workers. While showing how to do breast examination she found one of her colleague- Roksana to feel something painful in her breast. After talking to her, Dipa realized her symptoms was serious and immediately took her to factory doctor. The doctor referred her to the nearby hospital for several tests and start treatment as soon as possible. Roksana is said to be under treatment in the right time. This case was a good awareness learning for other workers as well.