Medical care for the country’s poorest

Since eight years we are involved in Bangladesh. What started as emergency aid for the victims of cyclone Sidr, which struck the area in 2007 causing devastating damage and killed about 3.500 people, has now evolved into a permanent project. With help of our local project coordinator Shabbir Uddin Ahmed we are currently supporting nine state hospitals. This way Cap Anamur strengthens the medical supply network in the district Joypurhat and Naogaon in the northern part of the country. Jointly with the government we provide these institutions with medication and consumables and are able to ensure the supply for about 5000 patients per month. All of whom rank among the so-called ultra poors, the poorest of the poor.

In Bangladesh countless people live far below the poverty line. If they have an income, it is hardly sufficient to cover living expenses – let alone to raise funds for medical treatments. In case of illnesses or injuries those people are depended on themselves. Giving birth is especially dramatic under these circumstances. In view of the high hospital costs, many women decide to bear children without professional assistance but rather in domestic environments. Thus the mortality rate is accordingly high. Therefore it is our primary goal to open up the health care system to people, who cannot afford medical care.

In the upcoming months a change will take place: We will add five medical facilities that are run by local non-governmental organizations, to our program and reduce the number of state facilities to no more than three. The advantage: Due to the cooperation with NGO- hospitals we can expand our medical aid in the future. In those institutions, cooperations with foreign doctors, nurses or laboratory assistants are permitted, as opposed to state-owned hospitals in which our German medical staff are not allowed to work. This prohibition still applies even though there is solely one doctor per 3000 inhabitants in the bitterly poor country Bangladesh and the situation in most hospitals is bad to that effect. Hence, cooperating with the NGOs is a major improvement for this project.

Furthermore we support the hospitals continuously with necessary tools, devices, dressing materials and medication. Our condition in return is a treatment free of charge for the destitute ultra poors. One of the new NGO- clinics cares particularly for people with disabilities. The affiliated Centre for Physiotherapy lacks in important equipment. With our support an additional doctor, one paramedic and enough special emergency equipment was provided for children with disabilities.

We cover an approximate catchment area of 3,5 Million inhabitants with our supply network. Patients can be cared for on an outpatient basis or can be hospitalized. This way we reach about 5000 patients per month who were precluded from receiving medical attention beforehand. Success is already indicated by birth rates: While most facilities registered only ten to twelve births per year prior to our assistance, there are now 20 to 30 newborns – namely per month.