Background: In recent years, Bangladesh government has accomplished the ambitious project of establishing hospitals 18,000 Community Health Clinics in sub-districts across the country. Operating under the affiliation of the government hospitals, these community health clinics aim to provide free healthcare services and to increase health-awareness among the extreme poor communities in the rural areas. However, a great proportion of the people are still not well aware of the services offered by the community health clinics. Thus, it is imperative to identify the factors of awareness regarding the community clinics. Research-based evidence is necessary to improve the efficacy and service coverage of community clinics among key population.
Methods: Cross-sectional data of size 11,673 women aged 15 to 49 years living in rural settings across seven divisions were extracted from the latest Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2014. The main outcome measures of our study were awareness and utilization of Community Clinic Services (CCs). Descriptive statistics were used to present the baseline socio-demographic and economic characteristics; Chi-square test and logistic regression were performed to identify the factors associated with awareness of community clinics.
Results: About one-third (36.7%) of the women were aware of community clinics. Geographical location, level of education, household wealth status and frequency of reading newspaper were found to be significantly associated with awareness about community clinic services. Services reported to be obtained in the community clinics include family planning, immunization, tetanus, antenatal care, vitamin A, and health care for children and child growth monitoring. In the multivariate logistic regression, the odds of awareness among participants with primary education [p<0.001, AOR = 1.255, 95%CI = 1.107-1.357], secondary qualification [p<0.001, AOR = 1.370, 95%CI = 1.242-1.510] and tertiary [p<0.001, AOR = 1.526, 95%CI = 1.286-1.809] had approximately 23%, 37% and 53% respectively higher odds of awareness when compared to those with no formal education. Compared to the women living in richest households, odds of awareness were approximately 12.5%, 12.8%, 4.5% and 22.4% respectively higher among women reported in poorer, middle, richer and richest household wealth status when compared to poorest wealth status.
Conclusion: Our findings suggested that policies enhancing improved education could benefit health awareness. Poverty elimination and income generation programs among women are also likely to improve awareness about community health clinics in the target population. Special policy attention is required to address the regional variation of awareness about Community clinics.