In Bangladesh, around 47 million people still live below the poverty line. In the future, too, the significant lack of high-quality and affordable healthcare services as well as trained personnel in the health sector will pose a great challenge. The situation is particularly critical in rural areas where the majority (75%) of the population lives. The well trained physicians and caregivers work in urban centres and for the most part are not quite ready to provide care to the local population in remote areas.
The project fosters health knowledge in the population and motivates young adults to participate in a two-year course for skilled health workers (community paramedics) who are desperately needed in rural areas and can provide first-line medical assistance. After completing the training course, the community paramedics will be able to diagnose and treat both frequent and relatively uncomplicated diseases. In addition, they will be able to provide professional support during pregnancies and assistance during births. As independent professionals (e.g. private practices and community pharmacies) or employees at local clinics and health centres, they can provide their services to the rural population.
Swisscontact is working closely with local training institutions to ensure they can provide high-quality training to health workers and comprehensive support to graduates in their efforts to find jobs in their home communities.
- Strengthening training institutes and training young adults
Young men and women from the rural project regions undergo two years of classroom-based training and a six-month internship at a health centre, during which time they learn medical skills. Swisscontact helps local training institutions to upgrade their training curricula and teaching methodologies, as well as to structure their management more efficiently while fostering active exchange with local and national health authorities.
- Market development for local skilled health workers
Together with local doctors and health centres, the project is building a referral system so that patients of health professionals can consult other qualified specialists when needed.
- Informing the population
People living in the project districts can participate in information events, marketplace meetings, and theatre productions on topics such as nutrition, hygiene, and health. Swisscontact is working together with civil society organisations to ensure they establish a presence in the communities and learn local realities to the best extent possible. These activities strengthen trust in the new health professionals and present these young people as an effective alternative or supplement to traditional healers.
2019 – 2022 objectives
Strengthening the Training Institutes & the Community Paramedic Programme
- 16 local institutes offer high-quality medical training programmes
- 638 participants completed the 2-year training.
Enhance Capacity and Service Provision of Community Paramedics
- 370 CPs will be self-employed, or salary employed of 2022
Awareness Raising on Community Paramedics and Their High-Quality Services
- 270 000 community people will be informed about the CPs and their services in their neighbourhood
- At the end of the 183 250 community people will have benefitted through improved healthcare services
Project progress in 2017
- 6 Community Paramedic training institutes have been trained on how to enhance their management practices and financial management procedures.
- 20 faculty staff (8 women, 12 men) from 10 training institutes have been trained on the revised Community Paramedic curriculum and basic training & facilitation skills.
- In 2017, 465 CP-students (281 women) were enrolled in the programme.
- Employment rate: 215 young men and women from the project location are employed Community Paramedics by the end of 2017.
- During the reporting year a total of 42 724 community people (29 888 women) have been introduced to the local community paramedics as qualified healthcare provider.