Bangladesh - Ongoing Mission
Mission Leaders: Craig Thomas, M.D. & Susan Scott
In 1997, Hawaii emergency physician Craig Thomas and his wife, writer Susan Scott, a former nurse, volunteered to help a Bangladeshi family start a clinic for the underserved in their area. What began as a one-room clinic in a family home blossomed into an international NGO annually serving thousands of those in need. Through several partnerships, the organization, called Aloha Social Services Bangladesh (ASSB, www.alohabangladesh.org), hosts a permanent physician-staffed clinic, a traveling rural health camp, two hospitals, two schools, a micro-credit loan program and an apartment housing project.
Supporters of the multiple projects include Honolulu-based Aloha Medical Mission, several German nonprofits, Shanti Switzerland, Austria, and a Bangladeshi family trust called Mafta, created, funded, and managed by seven local siblings and their spouses. ASSB’s goal is to provide health care, education, job training, and permanent shelter to lift families from generations of poverty.
Both Hawaii and Bangladesh directors welcome those interested in any capacity to join them during annual site visits. Volunteers pay their own travel expenses to, and within, Bangladesh. The host family provides food and accommodations at the ASSB sites.
MEDICAL AND DENTAL
Patients treated in the ASSB clinic, fully supported by AMM. Details in a formal report, available upon request.
- 179 surgeries
- 1,560 medical and gynecologic patients
- 309 dental procedures
- 3,612 IOL implants for cataract patients and other eye cases
Patients Post-cataract Surgery
School began as one baby class for 3-and-4-year-olds as a way to treat malnutrition seen in the clinic. Today, German, Austrian, and Swiss organizations similar to AMM support both schools, now baby class through 10th grade. (O Level)
- 400 students in Dinajpur district school
- 200 students in Nagoan district school
New Desks for Students
MICROCREDIT LOAN PROGRAM
- Self- supporting, interest rate 12.5%.
- Repayment rate, 98%.
- 11,000 families and individuals receiving loans, training, and supervision.
Microcredit Sewing Machine
- Housing for homeless families living in tarps next to railroad tracks. Candidates evaluated and chosen by local ASSB directors.
- 145 finished apartments include electricity, tube wells, latrines, and management.
Clean Tube Well