Our 2023 Fundraising Campaign
Dear Friends and Supporters of SAMC Bangladesh,
We are so happy to report that Suraiya Ataur Medical Center continues to provide quality care to a growing number of women and children in Chondipur and surrounding villages. With lockdowns lifted and life returning to post-COVID normalcy, patients have returned to the clinic to prioritize their healthcare and get their routine check-ups.
Dr. Aysu Rahman, co-founder of SAMC, visited Bangladesh in late 2022 to finalize planning for the strategic roadmap for 2023. Read below for her report on what’s in store for this year:
Multigenerational women from across the villages visit to get services for a variety of reasons: one had come to get an ultrasound for her pregnancy; one had come to get her weekly blood pressure checked; another woman had come with her baby to use the nebulizer.
The highlight of my visit was being able to connect with the patients. I had the opportunity to speak with patients 1:1 to ask about their experience with SAMC and our staff. I asked them questions such as: “What is going well? Where can we improve? If you could change one aspect of the services, what would it be?” Almost everyone said they appreciate having access to affordable healthcare so close to where they live – previously they’d have to travel several hours for the most basic services. Some suggested an area of improvement may be expanding our family planning services, while others suggested extending our hours of operations. Both items are now on our roadmap for 2023!
You will be happy to know we continue to provide scholarships to women to pursue higher education! This year we are awarding two more scholarships to young women who would otherwise not go to university. We provide their tuition for the full four year-degree, as well as room and board for those in severe financial need. Awards for these scholarships range from $5000-6000 for the full four years. Each year is $1250-$1500. Each quarter costs $315-$375. If you’re interested in sponsoring the education of a young woman, please consider donating here.
Another service we will expand on is providing regular consultations and medications to lower the blood pressure for high-risk patients. As a medical doctor myself, I have seen women who have suffered from conditions such as paralysis and acute heart disease because they had long ignored the need to regulate their blood pressure. They face challenges such as lack of affordability in healthcare, the importance of continued treatment, and overall access to medical services. In Bangladesh, 20% of the population suffer from high blood pressure – making it a silent killer. Therefore, it was imperative for me to create a focus around providing services specific to regulating blood pressure for our patients. One year’s worth of medication to treat high blood pressure costs $220 for one individual. If you would like to sponsor the care and treatment of a patient struggling with high blood pressure, please consider donating here!
While there, we collaborated with the Rotary Club of Bangladesh to provide warm blankets for patients and their families in SAMC. With climate change, Bangladesh has been severely affected. Temperatures this winter reached a historic low – it dropped from a typical range of 78-80°F down to a low of 40°F. This is dangerous for most of the population in Bangladesh – with those in rural areas most at risk of hypothermia. Most of our patients and their families live in houses with mud floors and no heating. To address this, SAMC joined forces with the Rotary Club of Bangladesh and distributed 500 warm blankets. It was a difficult sight to see when the people there were clamoring for blankets – afraid they’d have to go back home without something to help keep them warm in the frigid weather. Several times I tried to calm them down assuring them that we had all the blankets allotted and that no one would need to leave without one. This desperation cemented the need to make this project an ongoing event. Fifty blankets cost $200, so if you’d like to sponsor this project to provide warmth to families in the villages, please consider donating here.
Our goals for 2023:
Efficiency: We continue to...
- Provide healthcare to over 700 women and children per month. These services are available four days per week for the nominal fee of 10 Taka (about 10 cents). This fee covers both consultation and medication provided by a female doctor and/or her medical assistant.
Expansion: We are working towards…
- Introducing new medical services (family planning and eyecare)
- Awarding increased number of scholarships to women. These scholarships provide full tuition for a four-year degree for an individual, as well as stipends for room and board (need-based).
- Distribute 500 warm blankets at the clinic in a joint program with Rotary Club.
- Partner with the government to provide family planning services.
- Work with the local government to set up medical camps in SAMC to accommodate patients from neighboring regions.
Words cannot express our profound gratitude to you for your most gracious and generous support, both moral and financial, as we pursue our collective dream of growing the SAMC Medical Clinic and Nursing School into a world class medical center in this remote rural village in Bangladesh. As we look to expand our services in 2023, please consider donating to support our journey.
We are grateful for Zakat (charitable donation) during this holy month of Ramadan. Your donations will not only help us continue to serve our patients in new ways, but also fund new healthcare projects.