How Bandhu’s work contributes to the national mandate of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh
Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bandhu) started its journey in 1996. It is formally registered with Ministry of Social welfare and NGO Affairs Bureau since July 1997. All activities of the organization are in line with the guidance provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and Ministry of Social Welfare (MOSW) of the Government of Bangladesh.
The principles, activities and approaches of Bandhu correspond to national priorities for health care interventions and directly linked with current National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS response. Bandhu’s activities have significantly contributed to attaining Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by the Government, particularly Goals 1, 3 and 6.
Bandhu is now aligning its 4th Strategic Plan (2017-2021) to ensure that itsprogram interventions on health, health rights and social services, implemented through 37 well-equipped field health centers in 22 districts and 25 partner CBOs across the country, can add significant value to national response on health for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly 1, 3, 5, 16 and 17.Further to this;
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh’s Health Policy 2011 begins with a reference to providing healthcare as a constitutional obligation of the Government and refers to the international commitments and declarations to which Bangladesh is a signatory and commits to ensure health as a basic human right of all citizens.
- As a civil society group and a non-profit organization, Bandhu works towards promoting health and social services for the gender diversity population.
- Gender diversified individuals are clustered within Most-at-risk population (MARP) for HIV/AIDS like migrant workers, sex workers, youth, children, transgender/hijra etc. Government also implements programs for this populace in other parts of the country (in non-overlapping manner).
- Gender diversity population are also the part of Key Population (KP) and termed as vulnerable group needing focus for making Bangladesh free of AIDS and included in the program structure of the Bangladesh Country Coordinating Mechanism, which is chaired by the Honorable Health Minister.
- For coordinating the national response to HIV/AIDS prevention among all KP/MARP, the National AIDS/STD Program (NASP) of the MOHFW provides leadership. Bandhu is providing supports to government’s response to health care needs of gender diversified population like other NGOs who cover other specific vulnerable groups of women, migrants, youth, children etc.
- Over the last 20 years Bandhu has expanded its work to HIV, reproductive health etc. and complementing the national response because all these areas are under government focus.
- Main features of Bandhu’s approach are:
- All its work is implemented within the framework of health as a human right of every citizen that is clearly laid down in the National Health Policy.
- Bandhu’s programs are implemented in close coordination with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Welfare, City Corporations, National Human Rights Commission and civil society.
- It has worked extensively with the police and law enforcement agencies, Media for preventing violations of gender diversity population so that they can easily access health and social services.
8.In coordination with the central and district level authorities, Bandhu will continue to work within the framework of the National Health Policy towards contributing to Sustainable development goals (SDGs) in terms of improving options and access to health and social services of gender diversity population who are also the citizens of the country.