Bandhan Health Program
Country of Operation
- Bandhan KonnagarNot-for-profit
SummaryThe Bandhan Health program is comprised of health education ( forums facilitated by Bandhan's Health Community Organizer), health product distribution (via health kits provided to the health volunteers) and providing linkages/referrals to public health centers for women children and adolescents
The goal of Bandhan Health Program is to create health awareness among mothers and adolescent girls, to ensure easy accessibility to health services available at the government and non government level in a sustainable level. In addition, Bandhan Health Program works to reduce health expenditure of poor families, as well as to develop health entrepreneurs/volunteers.
Key program components
The monthly health forums are conducted in an interactive and participatory manner. An array of topics such as diarrhea, care of pregnant woman, quality health care, pneumonia, water and sanitation, neonatal care and others are covered during these forums. The health volunteers or the Swastha Sohayika (SS) visits the households in her village and reinforces the messages discussed in the health forums.They assess the prevalent health practices in their communities. In addition, they also have a health kit with basic medicines and health products (oral contraceptive pills, ORS, sanitary napkins, paracetamol and others such products) for distribution. The SS also works as a liaison with the government and identifies public primary health centers for referrals for woman requiring care.
Bandhan, a microfinance organization, soon realized that credits alone cannot contribute to the development of a community. For a holisitc development actitivities such as education, health and livelihood need to be considered. S Bandhan adopted the credit plus policy. Bandhan Konnagar, its developmental wing and a not for profit, undertakes various activities for holistic development of the community. As health is one of the key part to development and often inaccessible to the poor, the health program was developed. Bandhan Health Program was initiated in 2007 in collaboration with Freedom from Hunger (initial funding support) in some of the most socially and economically villages in Howrah District (3 branches).The support from Freedom from Hunger lasted for three years post which it is being supported by the surplus generated by the parent company - Bandhan.