LAMB community health work is focused on communities in north west Bangladesh. The administrative districts concerned are Dinajpur, Rangpur, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat. These have tended to be neglected in development until recent years because of the lack of reliable transportation across rivers, which made them more isolated.
We currently work more intensively in both health and development in 6 sub-districts with 64 rural unions and two municipalities (typical size of a union is approx. 30,000 people, so total 2 mil. population). We also work just in community health, using Government of Bangladesh health facilities, in the remaining sub-districts of Dinajpur and Nilphamari Districts (additional 3.5 million population).
LAMB works for and with major partners in its community activities:
- Global Fund for AIDS, TB, Malaria (GFATM)- Work in 24 unions and 2 municipalities in the districts of Dinajpur and Nilphamari. Working as a part of National Tuberculosis Program of Bangladesh Govt.
- KOICA (Korean gov’t aid) – Work in 1 subdistrict of Rangpur District. Working mainly for the development of Community Based Organizations at grassroots and leadership levels to help reduce social barriers to health and sustain a reliable local health system.
- PLAN-Bangladesh – Work in 6 sub-districts in the districts of Dinajpur and Nilphamari. Working to enhance and provide better health facilities in these areas. The remainder of those districts are covered by less-intensive community health and development activities.
- Tear Fund – Work in 22 unions in Dinajpur, Rangpur, Nilphamari, and Lalmonirhat districts. Aiming to help people withstand natural disasters of flood and draught, in particular through churches and local leaders.
- UNICEF – Work in 35 unions and 1 municipality in the district of Dinajpur. The program aims of scaling up the Community based Integrated Maternal, Neonatal and Child Survival Interventions through the facilitation of community development activities.
The work is focused on poor communities, irrespective of their ethnic grouping or religion. LAMB is located in a region of Bangladesh with a large population from tribal groups, especially Santal and Urao.
Particular emphasis is given, as it is in the whole of LAMB, to women and children, since these tend to be amongst the more disadvantaged members of the community. All members of the communities do however have access to the clinics and the hospital
Within the grouping of women and children, there are specific programs which focus on:
- Reproductive health including gynaecology
- Family planning
- Pregnancy care: before, during, and after delivery, emphasizing birth planning and recognition of danger signs.
- Newborn care including pre-term or small newborns given skin-to-skin ‘kangaroo maternal care’ to regulate their body temperatures according to the mothers’.
- Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI), a WHO-designed program bringing together care of acute illnesses together with routine health screening.
- Preparedness to withstand natural calamities of flood and draught.