Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh is pleased to share the great strides and successes as of late! On January 28th, 2013, our Community Midwifery Program began with the students attending their first class. This program is the first Bangladeshi Government recognized Midwifery program in all of Bangladesh! HOPE will train and graduate 100 midwives by the year 2016. In total, the course will run for 3 years, consisting of 2 years of study and the final year in an internship. The end goal of the program is to provide a supply of midwives that will be rigorously trained and capable of working in rural areas where accessibility to delivery and care services is vastly underdeveloped. The students who were chosen for this course are all local girls, living in and around Hope Foundation medical centers. This helps ensure that, once they graduate, these trained midwives can go back to their own communities and help deliver babies at home as independent practitioners or seek employment at the Hope Clinic near their homes. The midwives can also seek employment elsewhere, but by selecting girls who are living in rural areas they are more likely to stay in their communities to work and provide services to the rural women who are most at need. The use of trained midwives working with mothers while pregnant, during delivery, and postpartum, will facilitate a smoother and safer birth process. Through the use of trained midwives, we can expand our outreach and education concerning rickets, and educate new mothers on how to provide adequate nutrition to their newborns and children to prevent this condition. Furthermore, midwives will be able to recognize birthing complications during delivery and after, and help these women in need to access appropriate medical attention immediately, as opposed to these women suffering for long periods of time, unaware that their condition can be treated. A greater access to midwives means more lives are saved, both mothers and babies!
From November 4-12, 2013, the world-renowned surgeon from Michigan, Dr. Steven Arrowsmith, returned to Bangladesh to conduct Hope’s third Fistula Camp. Possessing over 25 years of experience, Dr. Arrowsmith has worked all over the world, particularly in Africa, to treat women suffering from Obstetric Fistula. Fistula is a condition in which a small hole is created in the genitalia, a complication due mainly to difficult, prolonged labor. In Bangladeshi villages, most births are at home at the hands of untrained birth attendants who encourage premature bearing down as soon as labor pains begin. This painful labor can last for days and the effect of all that pressure can cause fistula. The prolonged labor also means that the baby dies inside the mother. Obstetric fistulas result in incessant, lifelong incontinence if untreated. The smell and the social stigma result in husbands abandoning their wives, since they do not know that the condition can be cured, and eventually these women become ostracized from their communities. Through our grassroots approach to locating and examining women for operation, we are treating these women and restoring their lives. 24 surgeries were completed by Dr. Arrowsmith during his 9 day camp.
November 26th through December 6th, HOPE Foundation’s partner Smile Bangladesh returned to Cox’s Bazar to hold a third Cleft Camp. The mission was led by Dr. Shahid Aziz, a Maxillo-facial surgeon from New Jersey, and a long-time friend of HOPE. Dr. Aziz brought along an entire team to complete 60 operations in 12 days. Here at Hope, we are ecstatic that we are reaching an ever-increasing amount of patients!
The work of Hope Foundation is due to our kind supporters. We greatly thank you for all that you have committed, and because of your actions, we have saved the lives of thousands. Your contributions pay for cleft and fistula surgeries, the training of birth attendants and midwives, food for the patients while they are admitted into the hospital, and so much more! We cannot thank you enough for the support you have shown us and we look forward to a very bright future!
Note: The picture above shows two of our volunteers, Dr. Ekaterine and Dr. Nada Alnaji feeding formula to a baby who needed our services at Hope Foundation hospital. The formula will provide this baby with the calcium that is necessary to prevent rickets.
In the last three months, Hope Foundation hospital has provided treatment of rickets for 50 children! Our committed health workers are continuing to administer door-to-door nutritional surveys to members from the Cox Bazaar community in efforts to raise their awareness of rickets and how it can be prevented with adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D. We have updated the ‘Overview’ section of this Global Giving page to provide more information on prevalence of rickets in the Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh area, and on our personal action plan for treating rickets. Please feel free to give it a glance. The update explains that Hope Foundation provides treatment for rickets and makes arrangements for patients with advanced cases to have surgery where they are referred to Ma-O-Shishu Hospital in Chittagong, Bangladesh. However, we are excited for that to change! In 2013 we will benefit from the services of a very qualified surgeon from France, Dr. Thierry Craviari, who has volunteered to perform rickets correction surgery in-house at Hope Foundation hospital to any of our patients in need.
Thank you kindly for keeping track of our page, our progress and for GIVING! We hope you can see how much your donations have improved the quality of these children’s lives. If you want to learn more about this cause or any other projects of Hope Foundation, please ask. We would love to fill you in.
Earlier this summer on May 12th, Hope Foundation held a fundraiser at Mehfil Restaurant in Sunrise, FL. Over 100 supporters attended the dinner. Among the guests were Mr. Nurun Har (member of Parliament) and Dr. James Howell (Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean at Nova Southeastern University). We were thrilled to see the community support for a good cause and look forward to utilizing the funds raised for our various projects, including Rickets surgery.
In addition, we are delighted to welcome international medical professionals including Dr. Jonathan Pham and Dr. Garsevanidze who will be dedicating their time to our patients at Cox's Bazar Hospital for Women and Children.
Thank you all for your support and contributions. Great work has been accomplished and we could not have done it without you!
I am currently in Bangladesh until 23rd April with a surgical mission to provide fistula surgery. We also have a new training center that was inaugurated by the Japanese Ambassador just last week. The building looks amazing! We have many plans for the types of training programs and seminars that will be held there. Ignorance of healthcare issues is a major factor for poor health outcomes in countries like Bangladesh. Read through our latest newsletter to keep up to date with our projects so far. When reading through the amazing stories of suffering and reprieve, realize that 95% of our funding is from people like you. Thank you!
I visited Bangladesh last December (2011) for 10 days to visit our projects. The hospital training center and dormitory is almost complete, with the scheduled grand opening for April this year. Accompanying me on this trip were Dr. Vidya Sharma, professor of pediatrics from the University of Missouri who is also head of International Health and leader of many projects in India and Africa. This is her first visit to Bangladesh with the hope of establishing grassroots healthcare projects in collaboration with Hope Foundation. Our mission to educate the local people of Bangladesh in easily preventable healthcare problems such as low Vitamin D and rickets continues with the support of people like Dr. Sharma.
Also with me on the trip were a team from California from a group called Mobile Medic, who are trying to set up a system of healthcare for people in isolated rural areas by the use of cell phones to communicate with the hospital. This is an exciting new development that will help our new Village Nurse graduates to administer healthcare direct to patients with the backup of the hospital that is usually too far away for the patient to visit. This will help rural women to get regular checkups during pregnancy to prevent mothers and babies dying from birthing complications since the costs of travelling to the hospital is too much for them. This is also a very low cost way of delivering healthcare since the Village Nurses are local women and their costs are far less than paying a doctor to do home visits.
I met with our Village Nurse graduates who are now employed in various clinics. The graduates from the island of Moheshkhali are now helping our Mothers' Club members in their neighboring villages. Empowering and educating women is an enormous benefit towards the education and improvement of the health of the entire community.
During my trip a 10 bed Rehab unit was set up to provide services to the paralyzed, injured and recovering patients who come to the hospital for occupational and physical therapy. The disabled and paralyzed people in Bangladesh are usually neglected since the country is poor and cannot provide for everyone. Our partnership with KDM, a French rehab. specialist organization has been giving much need therapy to local people since 2010.
Our goal to provide a permanent cafeteria/canteen in the hospital continues and plans are being put in place to do this as soon as the training center is complete. The training center will be a hub for training, meetings, conferences and many events that will require on-site food services that can help the canteen be self-sufficient and also provide free food to the poor patients in the hospital.
My trip ended with several meetings in the capital, Dhaka, with major aid organizations and NGO's. These partnerships will help to continue our mission and vision to help the poor and suffering people in Bangladesh.
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Ramu, South Mitachari,