The BARNARDS Coordination Team, Bangladesh
Enrolled by BARNARDS, the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) is a research initiative established by a multidisciplinary research team in Bangladesh, in collaboration with the Department of Microbiology, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The core mission of CHRF is to improve child health in Bangladesh, and the region, by facilitating appropriate policy decisions on treatment and prevention, through research and advocacy.
CHRF was established in 2007 and since its opening has conducted numerous studies in Bangladesh, related to infection and immunization. CHRF is comprised of four hospital sites. These sites have produced high quality data on the burden of pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) diseases and have facilitated evidence-based introduction of PCV and Hib vaccines into the national immunization program. Recently, the foundation completed a large multi-centred study including Bangladesh, India and Pakistan where more than 70,000 babies were enrolled.
CHRF’s hospital network covers both urban and rural areas of the country. Dhaka Shishu (children’s) Hospital, Shishu Shasthya Foundation Hospital, Chittagong Ma O Shishu Hospital (CMOSH) and Kumudini Women’s Medical College (KWMCH). CMOSH and KWMCH were selected as the two sites for BARNARDS. CMOSH and KWMCH are in Chittagong and Mirzapur, respectively. Chittagong is the second largest city in Bangladesh, located 243 km south of the capital of Dhaka. Mirzapur is a rural sub-district of Bangladesh, located 65 km north of Dhaka.
CMOSH is a large private medical college hospital. It has 250 paediatric beds and provides low cost healthcare to its patients. Chittagong is a major coastal seaport city and financial centre in south eastern Bangladesh. The city has a population of more than 2.5 million while the metropolitan area has a population of over 4 million, making it the second largest city in the country. Chittagong is located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River so it is a natural harbour for trade supporting rich cultural diversity. Despite being an economic hub for South East Asia, the poverty rate was reportedly at 11.3% in 2011, whilst this is considerably lower than the national average, there were still 1,814 slums within the city area inhabited by about 1.8 million slum dwellers. The area surrounding Chittagong is largely rural, as much of this land is protected for the preservation of the countries critically endangered species, CMOSH largely caters to the needs of the rural living population in surrounding areas in addition to urban living residents.
The KWMCH is a 750-bed non-profit private-trust hospital that treats all of its patients free of charge. This is the largest trust run hospital in this part of the country and serves as the primary and secondary health care centre. It has 80 paediatric beds and high quality laboratory and radiology facilities. The hospital has also a Village Outreach Program where our doctors and nurses are periodically visiting the nearby villages and training the rural community on midwifery, family planning, breast feeding, sanitation, antenatal care and general health awareness.