LAMB : A Brief History
1955 – 2012Mid 1950s – Vision
The vision for LAMB began when Mr. John Otteson, a missionary of the American Santal Mission in Dinajpur, felt an urgent need for medical work for the hundreds of thousands who had no access to proper health care. The vision was developed further through a prayer group in Los Angeles.
1969-Mid 1970s – Land
The land where LAMB exists was purchased between 1969 and 1972.
The early vision included a hospital providing high quality tertiary, secondary and primary health services to everyone, especially the poor. Preventive health initiatives were introduced before the hospital was established. From the earliest days, training was envisaged as a key activity.
1976 – LAMB Registered
LAMB officially began with our registration with the Ministry of Social Services. The first programs were a small clinic at the LAMB site and mobile clinics in several villages. The Community Health division expanded to include sanitation programs, health teaching and literacy, and other preventive health and community development programs.
1983 – Hospital Opened
The 50-bed hospital opened in October 1983.
1980-1995 – Community Activity Growth
The LAMB Community health and development program (CHDP) expanded working areas with health promotion, disease prevention, mobile clinics; functional literacy education; income generation and training programs.
The Tuberculosis program began in the late 1980’s.
The relationship with PLAN International began in 1994. It initially involved the sub-contracting of health services to LAMB for mobile clinics and health teaching.
A disability rehabilitation and nutrition facility and program were initiated in 1994.
1996-7 – Board governance revised
In 1996-7 LAMB restructured governance from that of a traditional mission with parent agency oversight (World Mission Prayer League, WMPL (USA) which had merged with founder American Santal Mission) to an NGO accountable to its own International Board. This reflected the changing external environment.
1996-97 – Community health grants and expansion
Services for the community improved dramatically in quantity and quality with receipt of the first DFID grant running from 1996-2001. The relationship with PLAN International broadened to a partnership.
During this time initial planning was started to transition from mobile clinics to fixed-site community clinics. These were first opened in 1998.
1998 – Hospital to 75 Beds
Through assistance from PLAN International, DFID and WMPL, LAMB increased the size of the hospital to 75 beds.
2006 – New Training Centre
With financial support from the Japanese Government, a large new training centre – now very fully utilized – was constructed and opened.
2007 – LAMB Hospital and Obstetric Fistula Repair
Through steady growth, LAMB Hospital now has 150 bed in wards for Maternity, Surgery, Paediatrics, and Male and Female General Wards. This year saw LAMB begin restorative surgery for women affected by difficult deliveries, funded by EngenderHealth/USAID.
2008 – Adolescent Reproductive Health
The goal of this new program was raise awareness among male and female adolescents, their parents and teachers to reduce fear about adolescent physical changes and reduce vulnerability to and impact from early marriage/child bearing and dowry.
2009 – A Great Achievement for the School
The School was expanded up to Class 10. So the first students were preparing for their ‘O’ level exams. LAMB’s Microfinance Program, with 6,000 members, was handed over to a local NGO as a part of LAMB strategic review.
2010-12 – Research Projects
A three-year research project studying Prolonged Labor/ Birth Asphyxia ended in December 2010. Pilot projects laid ground work for a project to improve feeding practices in children less than two years of age, organized by Alive and Thrive, as well as a 5 year nutrition supplementation comparative research program through University of California, Davis.
2010-12 – More Opportunities for Community Service
With a goal to help people withstand upcoming natural disasters of flood and drought in a cost efficient way a Disaster Risk Reduction program was developed through TEAR Fund UK. To maximize LAMB’s services to poor, a UNICEF-funded ‘Maternal, Neonatal and Child Survival’ program was designed and implemented.