IiH Innovator Maya has teamed up with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, one of the largest trade associations in the country, to provide health services to ready-made garment workers. BGMEA President Rubana Huq and Maya Founder and CEO Ivy Russel signed the agreement that will make these services free to BGMEA employees in an effort to limit the spread of Covid-19, while also addressing employees’ medical and mental health issues.
BGMEA organized in the early 1980s with the purpose of securing rights and privileges for garment workers, the betterment of the society, and environmental protections. The association has about 4,500 member factories. Ready-made garments make up 84 percent of Bangladesh’s total exports, worth $40.5 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to data posted on BGMEA’s website. The industry has lost an estimated $2.8 billion in orders from Western retailers due to Covid-19. Factory owners are facing financial ruin and some 2 million garment workers are facing unemployment. These developments make the provision of services to workers all the more critical.
The agreement provides workers with:
- The Maya app, which puts users in touch with doctors and mental health experts, so they can receive answers to questions about physical and mental health concerns.
- Digital prescriptions on their phones, which can be used to order medicine through Maya or to present at pharmacies.
- A toll-free hotline. Workers can call Maya doctors and counsellors on a dedicated phone line.
- A toll-free SMS. Workers who do not have smartphones can send questions through SMS to Maya doctors and counsellors and receive their answers the same way.
- Video calling. Workers can also contact doctors and counsellors for telemedicine check-ins.
- A customized dashboard for BGMEA and factories, which will provide real-time data on their employees.
- Monthly reports. These will provide insights and analyses of worker consultations from all platforms.