In Bangladesh there are approximately 4,000 doctors working in a population of 80 million people.?
GV PAN FROM: Boat on river TO "paramedics" walking towards camera.
SV:"Paramedic" giving injection.
CU: Doctors cards and doctor going through charts. (TWO SHOTS)
GV PAN FROM: Children doctor talking. (TWO SHOTS)
GV:"Paramedics" leaving farm.
GV INTERIOR: Health centre at Savar with patients.
CU: Sign in English about birth control sterilisation etc.
CU PAN ALONG: Drugs.
SV: People queue to see doctor.
SV: Doctor with patients in surgery.
SV: Patients in bed.
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Background: In Bangladesh there are approximately 4,000 doctors working in a population of 80 million people. This means that for many-particularly in rural areas-expert medical care is something of a hit and miss business-at its best sporadic and at worst non-existent.
SYNOPSIS: Seeing the desperate need for some initiative for change, a doctor working at a rural health centre in the village of Savar hit upon the idea of training young local people to take over many of the simpler medical tasks.
Although fully qualified doctors are still the backbone of the medical service, Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury's team of "paramedics", some of them illiterate but all highly skilled in their medical work-are even going so far as to perform sterilisation operations on women, under local anaesthetic. In fact since the scheme started after 3,000 operations performed by the "paramedics" not one patient has become ill to died as a result.
The average size of a family in Bangladesh is ??? and the population is growing at the rate of 3 percent per year. In the past there has been strong resistance to birth control, but this attitude is now changing as health care for children improves. But conditions are still primitive and in many rural health centres operations are performed without the benefit of electricity-paraffin stoves and pressure lamps are all that's available.