HEALTH CARE FOR THE POOR BY THE POOR
Dr Edric Baker from New Zealand began work from a small dispensary in the Madhupur forest area in 1982 together with the Church of Bangladesh. In 1996 he started the Kailakuri Clinic. This has grown into a rural health center (with inpatient and outpatient services) backing up mother-child care, diabetes, and TB activities. Patients requiring surgery are taken to other hospitals. Patients are only charged nominal fees and medication is given to patients on-site. Because patients cannot afford treatment costs, the clinic relies on donations to cover project expenditure. Many patients come from ethnic minority backgrounds. Just before the death of Dr. Edric Baker Mati started to work with the local community to make sure that the project did not stop after his era. In the present time, the Kailakuri Hospital is working autonomously but Mati is providing all the help it needed.
Providing rural health care is a huge problem in Bangladesh, as most doctors do not want to go to the countryside. Placements in the bigger cities are more prestigious and better paid. Hence Kailakuri has been designed as a paramedic-run health project, with medical supervision. All paramedics have been trained on the job. They follow a standard treatment manual and attend weekly half-day training sessions to increase their knowledge.
- Mother-Child Village Programme
- Nutrition and Health Education
- Diabetes Programme
- Tuberculosis Programme
- Surgical Transfers
Kailakuri Health Care Project receives 42,000 outpatient visits per year (up to 150 per day) and 1300 inpatients (35-40 patient capacity). In addition to this, 23,000 receive health and nutrition education. Annual project costs amount to $US 215, 000 (less than 10% administration costs).