Sustainable Health Services for Isolated Populations in Bangladesh
Started in March 2010 with funding from the RiverStyx Foundation, Pathfinder's Sustainable Health Services for Isolated Populations in Bangladesh aims to improve access to health services in the Rangamati Hill district of southeast Bangladesh. The region is home to a large tribal population, which lives in remote, rural areas where people are geographically, culturally, and linguistically isolated. Additionally, tribal communities tend to be impoverished. As a result, they can neither access nor afford proper nutrition, health care, or sanitation services.
Funded for three years, the project is led by Pathfinder Bangladesh, working in concert with Green Hill, a local NGO. The project's objective is to help the region's poor, isolated population access modern health services by training health providers, setting-up clinics, and raising community awareness about available health services.
To achieve this goal, Pathfinder is executing two long-term strategies:
- Providing services from static and satellite clinics
- Training local women as paramedics
Thus far, Pathfinder and Green Hill have setup five clinics in three subdistricts (or upazilas) of the Rangamati district. Led by a paramedic, clinic aide, and depot holder, each clinic is responsible for addressing the health care needs of a catchment population of approximately 8,000-10,000 people. Services provided by the clinics include maternal and newborn care*, family planning**, management of sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract infections, general health care***, and diagnostic and lab work. For emergency cases, the clinics refer clients to nearby public and private health facilities.
At the same time, Pathfinder has arranged for a two-year training course for paramedics, which will prepare locally-recruited women to serve their own communities and take leadership over the clinics, ensuring long-term sustainability for the overall efforts.
In order to restock the clinic and cover staff and administrative expenses, the clinics charge a small fee for services. By the end of the project, Pathfinder expects that each team of paramedics will be able to run their clinic without external funding or support, when trainee paramedics return after completing their training.
* Antenatal care, postnatal care, immunizations and referral for safe delivery, and emergency obstetric care
** Oral contraceptives and condoms, IUD insertion and removal, referrals for other methods
*** Related to common illnesses, scabies and malaria
As the lead organization on the NGO Service Delivery Project (NSDP), implemented from 2002-2007, Pathfinder partnered with more than 30 local NGOs to provide free maternal health, infant care, and primary care services to the poorest of the poor.
In 2007, Pathfinder began work on the Grameenphone Safe Motherhood and Infant Care Project, continuing Pathfinder's commitment to providing quality reproductive health services in Bangladesh that began in the early 1950s.
Mayer Shasthya: Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality due to Postpartum Hemorrhage and Eclampsia in a Select Area of Bangladesh
Mayer Shasthya (Mother's Health) was a two year community-based intervention funded by Pathfinder and World Bank to save mother's lives in rural Bangladesh.
This spring, Pathfinder was delighted to be selected as one of 40 nonprofit organizations that will receive donations from the millions of dollars generated by CREDO mobile, long distance, and credit card customers in 2013.
New research and analysis from Pathfinder International, the University of California San Francisco Safe Motherhood Program, and PATH shows that innovative, collaborative efforts to address postpartum hemorrhage are working.