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The Church of Bangladesh : Jobarpar Community Health Programme

The Jobarpar community health programme is part of Shalom: a development project the Church of Bangladesh launched in 1983 with the aim of eradicating poverty, hunger and slavery. USPG has been supporting this project for several years.

After Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971, the Church embarked on a mission to restore the lives of the war victims through relief and rehabilitation activities. Out of this, the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme (CBSDP) was born. CBSDP recently changed its name to ‘Shalom’, reiterating its vision to show Christian love and establish justice and peace for those who are oppressed or in poverty, irrespective of religion, caste or creed.

Jobarpar is a flood-prone area in the River Ganges delta; an area with widespread unemployment, poverty and malnutrition. This programme focuses on areas in Jobarpar where government response is limited, including five villages from two union councils (Bakal & Bagdha) under the Agailjhara sub-district. There are four main strands to the community health programme: community clinics, health awareness, hygienic latrines and an eye camp for the elderly.

Through the programme’s community health awareness activities, many people are learning about healthy nutrition, good personal hygiene and how to take preventive action on primary diseases. A door-to-door service supports pregnant women by bringing antenatal and postnatal care to them at their homes. The mothers-to-be feel comfortable and secure and newborn babies are in good care. Hypertensive and diabetic patients have also expressed their confidence in the service they have received from the programme. The availability of essential low-cost medicine has been a great help to patients with fevers, colds, asthma or diarrhoea.

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