Overview Community Health and Development Program (CHDP)
LAMB CHDP Department has the objectives of
- improving the lives of rural people through integrated health and community development activities
- working toward God’s ideal of equitable communities by empowering poor people for sustainable development, including reduced community vulnerability to natural disasters
- collaborating with authorities of the Government of Bangladesh health services and elected officials, to build capacity for a reliable, functional rural health system.
LAMB currently has 31 permanent staff working in CHDP, and a further 719 contract staff working on specific sponsored programs. Almost all the staff work out in the communities.
CHDP operates in the northwest Bangladesh Districts of Dinajpur, Rangpur, and Nilphamari. Its focus is on poor communities, and particularly women and children who tend to be the more disadvantaged members of society
The main activities of CHDP are geared toward increasing good health decision making of individuals and communities by improving functionality of a local integrated, responsive health system (whether NGO, Government of Bangladesh, or an integration of both):
- household and group teaching for health promotion, disease prevention
- primary care clinical service provision, including community midwifery
- group facilitation for community mobilization using participatory action research approach
- local community leadership capacity building, including
- oversight/accountability of local health system
- community resource mobilization for health
- preparedness for upcoming natural disasters
- advocacy with elected leaders and government health officials
LAMB mainly works with and for donors in its community work. A donor defines the overall strategic changes it wishes to promote with its funds, and LAMB assesses if the potential work is consistent with its mission, vision, values, and strategies. LAMB then uses its local network and staff to implement the agreed programs.
LAMB applies a holistic and integrated approach to health in its community activities. Spiritual, social, and emotional health are an integral part of the approach. In some areas LAMB builds capacity of local church members to reach out to neighbors with health and development initiatives, as practical demonstration of God’s love.
Another invaluable feature which LAMB is able to provide – and appears to be a very successful model – is that LAMB staff work across a continuum of care, from households to village level in local clinics, to tertiary care at the hospital. This linked structure appears to increase the trustworthiness of services, since staff at the local level are known to be linked to LAMB Hospital, a high level of quality control is always present, and the referral system is straightforward and known.