Healthcare continues to remain outside the domain of poor with serious repercussions felt in
the economic and social spheres. Poor people are deprived of the knowledge of primary healthcare
and existence of government health centres. Existing government health centres are not equipped
adequately to fulfill the primary needs of rural poor and thereby deliver services in an optimal manner.
Lack of awareness about quality health care has also augmented health problems of poor to a large extent.
The aforesaid health scenario can be dealt with to an appreciable extent through direct health interventions
at the community and household levels.
Bandhan Health Program (BHP) commenced in 2007 in some of the most economically and socially deprived areas
of rural West Bengal.
hysical well-being in a particular village is ensured primarily through promotive, preventive and curative
healthcare. In this regard, active participation of the village community is sought to ensure greater
effectiveness of the program. Interested poor woman from a village are selected and trained as health
volunteers to improve the health conditions of her village. They undergo an intensive training before
getting to action on ground. Apart from the technical medical training, they are also trained to
establish liaison with government health officials and to participate in national health campaigns.
Upon successful completion of the training, certificates are provided and thereafter, they commence work.
Bandhan Health Program (BHP) commenced in 2007 in some of the most economically and
socially deprived areas of rural West Bengal. The program was introduced in association with
Freedom from Hunger, a California based organization by setting up 3 branches in the Howrah district.
They extended support for a 3-year period. But the gradual expansion took place in phases;
the expenses of those were borne by the surplus of the Bandhan’s microfinance operations.
The health program is now active in 2 states – West Bengal and Tripura and the services are being delivered
through 48 branches. 2 new branches are to be opened shortly, so that makes it to a total of 50 branches by
March 2011 - all being supported by a portion of the surplus of the microfinance operations.
erformance of the health program has been detailed below. These data are all as of August , 2019.
||Swastha Sohayika(Health Volunteers)
||Health forums conducted
||Total participants at the health forum