North west Bangladesh is a rural area where 50% of the people are landless labourers for whom life is lived at the margin. The main crop is paddy (rice) with two harvests a year, but most labourers are lucky to get work for only half the year. Money for healthcare is rarely available.
LAMB’s emphasis is to provide access to affordable healthcare by the poorest women and children. 70% of patients are too poor to pay the modest fees charged by the hospital to cover its costs and need financial help. In LAMB’s target areas 30% of women have their babies in local safe delivery units or in the hospital, compared with 10% in the country as a whole, and maternal and infant mortality is substantially less then the national average.