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Chittagong

Project start | 2000

   

Free missions | 307

Chittagong

A survey of the Chittagong project

Dates and facts

Project begin: 2000

Number of doctors at present: Two German doctors.

Number of missions: 19 voluntary missions in 2017. A total of 307 voluntary missions were performed by doctors from 2000 to the end of 2017.

Patient contacts: 20,000 treatments were performed annually in Chittagong.

Partner: Our project partner is the “Father Boudreaus Medical Centre” founded by the Canadian priest Boudreau which is now run by the Patharghata Health Development Society, one of the Bengal welfare organizations.

Structure: The German Doctors run the “Medical Center for the Poorest of the Poor” (MCPP), which is a permanent out-patient clinic for the inhabitants of the slums of Chittagong, within the “Father Boudreaus Medical Centre”.

Mission location: The MCPP is located in the district of Patharghata. The people are made aware of the center by the regular visits by the social workers in the Chittagong slums.

Most common health problems: gastro-intestinal diseases, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and tuberculosis.

Priorities: nutrition program for mal- and undernourished children, tuberculosis program, and education on disease prevention for pregnant women and mothers.

A survey of the Chittagong project

Medical care for the poorest of the poor

With its 160 million inhabitants, Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world and is also one of the poorest. About a third of the Bengals live below the poverty level, and a majority of the population is underweight, especially the age group of under-fives.

Our voluntary German doctors work in a stationary outpatient clinic, the Medical Centre for the Poorest of the Poor. Impoverished people from the slums, who could not afford to see a doctor without our assistance from Germany, attend the clinic every weekday. The number of patients in our center remains high. In the future we want to build small, decentralized health centers in the slums to facilitate the patients’ journeys to us. Aside from the German doctors, a local social workers should be active in these centers.

We have also organized nutrition programs for undernourished children. Education about nutritional and health matters is provided for the mothers so that they learn how they can provide nutritional food at low cost for their families in the future.

A survey of the Chittagong project

Providing for the poorest of the poor

Whilst at Father Boudreau's Medical Centre run by the Patharghata Health Development Society people who are slightly better off can consult a doctor in return for a small fee, the German Doctors at its Medical Centre for the Poorest of the Poor treats people who are unable to afford to go to a doctor at all for free. Linking both projects means that German Doctors can offer patients further diagnostics on the spot, such as X-rays and ultrasonic examinations.

People living in the slums often hesitate to attend the German Doctors’ clinic because they are afraid they will have to pay something. For this reason, social workers go round the Chittagong slums every workday to inform the slum dwellers about what the German Doctors offer. At the same time, they can get an impression of the living conditions there and make sure that the medical aid provided by the doctors really reaches the poorest of the poor.

A survey of the Chittagong project

A program to counteract mal- and undernourishment

The German Doctors, with support from ‘A Heart for Children’, opened the community center CbC (Community-based Center) in the middle of the largest slum in Chittagong at the beginning of 2012. Sixty undernourished children are presently being cared for in this center. The team consists of a nurse, 3 experienced social workers, a cook, and two caregivers. One of our voluntary German doctors visits the CbC once a week to check the children.

Working with undernourished children also always means working for and with their mothers. Therefore, our coworkers offer, aside from child care and nourishment, maternal and social counseling and visit the families regularly where they live. Educating mothers is part of the feeding program. They participate in the preparation of meals and thereby learn how to provide a balanced diet even with little money. This family aid in the slum is very important to recognize undernourishment early and, ideally, to prevent it.

Our coworkers also motivate and train the mothers how to organize themselves in women’s self-help groups, for example to build up reserve funds for hard times or to organize child-minding services. The women gain self-confidence through exchanging information in such groups and through the training and education, which also has positive effects on their children.

A survey of the Chittagong project

A City of Contrasts

The social situation in Chittagong is highly diverse. Large and small slums are scattered among more affluent living areas. Five such slums are located in direct proximity to the German Doctors’ health center. About 2000 people live in each one without drinking water, sewage facilities, and electricity.

Colds and diarrhea, as well as skin diseases, are common. One of the neighboring large slums is located directly on the port. The unpaved bank paths are muddy during the monsoon season. This results in colds and even pneumonia and tuberculosis among many children.

Most of the people living in slums come from the rural areas of Bangladesh. They hope to find work in one of the many factories or in the large port. For many of them, this dream remains unfulfilled, and they have to earn their livings as day laborers and rickshaw drivers. Their earnings are almost never sufficient for an apartment of their own, so they try to find a place to live in one of the slums.

Chittagong

Every donation helps!

15 Euros feeds eight children in Chittagong for a month. 200 Euros provides 500 mothers and pregnant women with counselling and health care for a month. 30 Euros provides the essential medical examinations by a doctor for 10 children. 360 Euros is required to provide 15 children in our Feeding Program with a balanced diet for a year. 450 Euros provides treatment by a doctor in our outpatient clinic in the slum for more than 150 patients. 60 Euros makes urgently needed medicines available for 100 patients in Chittagong. 5 Euros guarantees the availability of medicine for 8 patients. 100 Euros ensures that 50 children in Chittagong can get enough to eat for a month.

15 Euros feeds eight children in Chittagong for a month.

200 Euros provides 500 mothers and pregnant women with counselling and health care for a month.

30 Euros provides the essential medical examinations by a doctor for 10 children.

360 Euros is required to provide 15 children in our Feeding Program with a balanced diet for a year.

450 Euros provides treatment by a doctor in our outpatient clinic in the slum for more than 150 patients.

60 Euros makes urgently needed medicines available for 100 patients in Chittagong.

5 Euros guarantees the availability of medicine for 8 patients.

100 Euros ensures that 50 children in Chittagong can get enough to eat for a month.

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