The Church of Bangladesh is involved in health activities in various parts of the country. In the districts of Barisal, Gopalganj, Meherpur and Tangail, the health care programme is being run under the name ‘Community Health and Nutrition Programme’. The activities are aimed mainly at the promotion of nutrition (including blindness prevention), hygiene, sanitation and mother and child health (MCH). The work is performed within the community by regular home visits of the health workers and by arranging community meetings.
Curative services for common ailments and diseases are given at the health centres and also by home visits as and when required. Maternal care is also provided. Home based nutritional rehabilitation (feeding of malnourished children), providing vitamin A capsules to vulnerable groups are included in the priorities. Health education, information and motivation are the daily routine for the health workers.
- Hospitals : 2
- Christian Mission Hospital, Rajshahi.120 beds.
- Bollovepur Mission Hospital.50 beds.
- Nursing Training Institute : 2
- Elizabeth Conan Memorial Nursing Institute, Rajshahi for senior course.
- Junior Nursing Training Centre, Bollovepur.
- Clinics Community Health Care
Programme : 22
Christian Mission Hospital, Rajshahi
The Christian Mission Hospital, Rajshahi, is the largest health care institution under the health programme of the Church of Bangladesh. It is situated in the divisional city of Rajshahi, in the northwestern part of Bangladesh. The hospital was established in 1887, by the medical mission of the Presbyterian Church of England. This was the first hospital in Rajshahi Division.
The Hospital conststs of 100 beds. There are four main wards. These are; 1. Male ward, 2. Female ward, 3. Maternity ward and 4. Children wards. There are three private cabins.
The Northwestern part of Rajshahi is inhabited by the ethinic `Santal’ people, and they make up the majority of our patients. This has been the case for more than 100 years and the missionaries of the European countries chose this area to serve these people through their healing ministry. But Christian Mission Hospital Hospital, Rajshahi aims to give good medical care to the poor of all races and religions at an affordable price.
Elizabeth Conan Memorial Nursing Institute, Rajshahi
With the Christian Mission Hospital, we have also a Nursing Training Institute, which was established in 1973. Each year on average the school graduates 15 senior-trained female and male nurses. These nurses are serving in various clinics and hospitals of this country and abroad.
The student nurses of the Nursing Institute get the practical part of their training in the hospital. The hospital acts as the referral centre for the community based health programme.
A Primary Health Care Programme
A Primary Health Care (community based health programme), was also started in 1994.
The hospital provides services to the people of the urban and sub-urban communities of Rajshahi city, the surrounding village communities, as well as to patients coming from nearby districts. The Nursing Institute provides nursing training mainly to poor Christian girls, and a few boys, coming from different districts of the country. The community based primary health care program is run in selected communities of Rajshahi, Notore and Naogaon districts.
Bollovepur Mission Hospital, Meherpur
Bollovepur Hospital is situated in Bollovepur village in Meherpur distict. Sister Gillian Rose is the director. It has always been a single storied 50 bedded hospital in the depths of the Bangladesh countryside, three miles from the Indian border, 100 miles or so north of Calcutta. There are no ‘high-tech’ no ‘modcons’ apart from a very unreliable electric supply, with running water supplied by tanks on the roof. But despite these handicaps the hospital serves the sick of a wide area, both poor and better-off alike and provides the only maternity services for the women of the densely populated villages. It also has a training centre for training junior nurses and midwives.
Community Maternal Health is the main thrust of the work and has gathered momentum over the years, and now a total of 30 village ante-natal clinics bring ante-natal care and health and nutrition teaching to women of a wide area.
Village midwives (traditional birth attendants) are also being trained in the hospital. With the help of these trained midwives the hospital has started clinics in some villages.
Low Cost Health Care Clinic, Thanarbaid
The programme attempts a grassroots level community health care in a rural area with three local communities: Mandi tribal Christians, Bengali Muslims, and Barmon tribal Hindus. The staff members are all local and trained on the job. Almost all have not been educated beyod school level. They are divided between the village programme and the clinic. Extreme simplicity, low cost, and a close link with the people are aimed for in all parts of the programme.