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LAMB Health Care Foundation (LHCF) is a Christian charitable trust founded and registered as a UK charity in 2003 - number 1101217.  It takes its name from LAMB in North-West Bangladesh and was set up by supporters in the UK who wish to see LAMB and its vision continue to develop. 

The Foundation’s main objectives are the relief of poverty, sickness and disability in South Asia.  Currently we are concentrating on providing financial support to LAMB and promoting its model of integrated health care and community development, with emphasis on the rights of women.

North west Bangladesh is a rural area where 50% of the people are landless labourers for whom life is lived at the margin.  The main crop is paddy (rice) with two harvests a year, but most labourers are lucky to get work for only half the year. Money for healthcare is rarely available.

LAMB’s emphasis is to provide access to affordable healthcare by the poorest women and children.  70% of patients are too poor to pay the modest fees charged by the hospital to cover its costs and need financial help. In LAMB’s target areas 30% of women have their babies in local safe delivery units or in the hospital, compared with 10% in the country as a whole, and maternal and infant mortality is substantially less then the national average.

LAMB has a catchment area of over 1.5 million people and in 2014 the hospital admitted over 11,000 in-patients and saw over 65,000 out-patients.

LAMB is unique due to...

1.     its rural isolation in one of the poorest parts of a country, which itself has one of the highest numbers of ultra poor and malnourished people in the world.

2.     its focus on maternal, neonatal and paediatric health. These are key priorities in healthcare globally.

3.    its integrated nature. LAMB focuses on providing primary healthcare as close to home as possible, referral services at LAMB Hospital, the training of health workers for hospital and primary health care as well as high quality published field research into maternal, neonatal, and paediatric health.

4.     the impact it has far beyond its local services.  LAMB has gained credibility as a result of its published research including in the LANCET and the British Journal of Obstetric and Gynecology. In fact, in a recent review by a technical group into the best practices in Bangladesh when it comes to saving newborn lives, 3 of the top 5 ranked practices nationally (Safe Delivery Units, kangaroo mother care and the routine use of partograph) came from LAMB.   

5.     the variety of models it uses in its sustainable and accessible delivery services, especially the Safe Delivery Units (SDUs), in partnership with both the local community and the public sector.

6.     its MIS-R (Management, Information System for Research) which has excellent data collection and therefore reliable results. Almost no-one else worldwide has accurate data on stillbirth rates but these are routine at LAMB and formed the basis of the LANCET publication. This data has enabled LAMB  to confidently document a clear fall in maternal mortality and child mortality in its core working area.

7.     its preference for providing basic, affordable health care for all and subsidy to the poorest, who are 2/3 of the users. This goes against the trend of expensive drugs and services. Caesarian Section (CS) rates at LAMB are only 20%, which is extraordinary compared with most hospitals in Bangladesh, where for the few comparatively  wealthy mothers, who choose to go to hospital to deliver rather than give birth in unsanitary, unsupported conditions at home, the CS rates are almost always over 50%, and sometimes much higher. This is considerably higher than would be necessary on medical grounds.

8.     its Training Centre which offers comprehensive academic and practical courses for rural health workers (especially skilled birth attendants), nurses and midwives at a very high level. Arguably, this produces more competent practitioners than anywhere else in Bangladesh as they are trained and prepared to serve in both rural birth centres and hospitals due to the practical link between the SDUs and hospital.

9.    it being very cost-effective and having low overheads. This is a result of the huge amount of volunteerism from LAMB expat staff and others, including LHCF trustees.

For more detail, see LAMB model

LAMB’s aim is to serve the poor and under-privileged, especially women and children. It has never turned a patient away.  In an area where the wage for a day labourer is about 60 pence a day, many do not seek health care until is too late, because they are afraid of the cost.

It is well known locally that LAMB treats first and looks at the question of payment later. This is often the main reason that the poor come to LAMB.  This is made possible by the Poor Fund, which pays for those who cannot afford even the low cost of their treatment and in total provides a subsidy of about £60,000 a year.

UK aid

UKaid have provided a grant for a new project at LAMB, starting in August 2015, with funding for 3 years.

ASHIRBAD (Bengali: blessing) - 'Improving access to effective sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents aged 11-19 in Badarganj sub-district, Bangladesh.’

The work will take place about 25 miles from LAMB in one of the poorest communities in Bangladesh, focusing on increasing the age of marriage for women, resulting in fewer teenage pregnancies and therefore reducing the risk of infant and maternal mortality.

Follow the link for more information about ASHIRBAD.

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