The Christian Mission Hospital, Rajshahi

The Christian Mission Hospital was established in Rajshahi in 1926 and has dutifully cared for marginalised people living in the greater Rajshahi area ever since. USPG has supported this hospital for several decades.

There are three arms to the hospital’s work: the hospital itself, its nursing institute and its primary health care (PHC) programme. The hospital provides treatment at a greatly reduced cost for patients who cannot afford the commercial hospitals in the city. In urban areas of Bangladesh (of which Rajshahi is one), an estimated 21% of the population live below the poverty line and do not have access to health and education facilities. Patients who are in severe financial hardship are often treated free of charge - especially people from the Santal community, who are one of the most vulnerable groups in northern Bangladesh.

The hospital also creates opportunities for local people to enter the nursing profession. The nursing institute affiliated with the hospital provides quality senior nursing training for both female and male students. The three-year Diploma in Nursing Science and Midwifery course follows the Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council curriculum. At present, some 144 students benefit from this course.

The PHC programme deals with preventive aspects of health. Its activities include mobile clinics in rural villages, health education (especially to pregnant and nursing mothers and primary and high school students), vaccinations, breastfeeding promotion and anti-tobacco campaigning. It also offers annual health check-ups to schoolchildren from three to sixteen years of age and provides confidential counselling to young people on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. PHC workers arrange mobile clinics at different centres, treating patients in the convenience of their own village environments.