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Community Health Workers make a big impact

Canadian journalist Stephanie Nolen recently wrote about Community Health Workers for the New York Times. She describes the role of the CHW in various countries by profiling the daily activities of several women. Nolen also explains how the significant public health impact of CHWs is not matched by their pay. She quotes the head of an advocacy organization, “Community health workers in countries like Rwanda and Liberia are treating half of malaria cases, they’re doing huge feats of curative care, of promotive care, of preventive care — and yet the vast majority are not paid or supported.”

OFP currently operates a health screening clinic to serve the Balagram community. Many people, particularly elders with chronic illness such as diabetes of heart disease, benefit from this accessible service close to home. We would like to expand this health program by training more front-line health workers at OIST. As with the current training programs in civil engineering and computer technology, Government of Bangladesh has developed an authorized training program for paramedics. While this is our next priority, we presently lack the funding to start any new program and would welcome donor support to begin the approval and planning process for this health care training initiative.

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