Bangladesh: Cricket Icon Bats for Maternal and Newborn Health

Md. Mushifiqur Rahim visits a health facility in Bangladesh

This blog was originally published in The Everyone Campaign. Written by Taskin Rahman. 

Md. Mushfiqur Rahim is not only Bangladesh’s star Cricket Team Captain –he’s also a Maternal and Newborn Health Brand Ambassador for USAID and has supported the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) in Bangladesh.

Last week, Mushfiqur visited the MaMoni Project at Habiganj District; a safe motherhood, newborn care and family planning project implemented by Save the Children. He also took time to visit the Union Health and Family Welfare Centre (UH&FWC) in Bangladesh.

Mushfiqur emphasized the importance of community health initiatives, prenatal care for pregnant women, and the use of health facilities for giving birth.

“For the first time I carried a one-day (old) baby,” he said after playing cricket with local budding cricketers to raise funds for poor mothers.  He later took time to speak to new mothers at a remote union health facility.

A huge crowd gathered in the stadium, outside the health facility and the homes he visited, in solidarity with the belief that thousands of mothers and newborns in Bangladesh need not die from preventable causes.

“We should look after our mothers. If they remain healthy, the newborn will be healthy,” he told the thunderous crowds after hitting numerous boundaries in the three-a-side match at Habiganj district stadium.

The game’s commentator also gave out messages on maternal and newborn health, family planning and nutrition with each boundary the skipper hit.

Mushfiqur and Nazmul – national team pace bowler, played with community cricketers to raise BDT 100,000 to help mothers and newborns in a complicated delivery. The friendly match brought together the corporate sector, civil society and GO-NGO on the same platform to work towards achieving MDGs 4 & 5.

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