Healthcare, Nutrition and Population

The inhabitants of the northern riverbank and char (nomad island) areas of Bangladesh are some of the most vulnerable and marginalised populations in the world. A lack in basic infrastructure, high reported levels of malnutrition, and a lack of health education and make it difficult for these populations to live healthy lives.


Despite massive amounts spent on health in the developing world, the poor still generally lack access to affordable, quality primary healthcare. The availability of accurate and reliable diagnostic and treatment advice and safe and effective medicine remains limited.


Friendship believes healthcare is a human right, and an integrated healthcare approach is imperative to provide quality healthcare service in the riverbanks and chars. In a region where land-based operations are impractical, Friendship has developed a river-based health service delivery system using floating hospitals, satellite clinics, Friendship Community Medic-Aide, river ambulances and specialized health camps.


The Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital (LFH), launched in March 2002, was Friendship’s flagship project. In order to take  hospital’s services to village communities, the Satellite Clinic programme was began, and most recently the Community Medic programme was also introduced. Together, these three tiers ensure that healthcare is at the doorstep of the most marginalised char communities.


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Floating HospitalsHaving worked in the chars since 1998, Friendship was well aware that a land based operation, although ideal, would not be sustainable to serve the health needs of the chars and riverbanks of Bangladesh’s vast rivers. Given the distance of the islands from each other and mainland, a static health care system seemed quite redundant. . .

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Satellite Clinic

Satellite clinics are an effective way to provide basic primary healthcare services to people living in chars, particularly women and children. A satellite clinic is a small boat that carries a team of one paramedic, one health educator and a medical assistant or nurse (all routinely supervised by a medical doctor) to remote islets.These groups . . .

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Friendship Community Medic-AideFollowing its success in health delivery through Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital (LFH) and weekly satellite clinics, Friendship introduced Friendship Community Medic-Aide (FCM) in 2006. As static clinics and continuous deliverance of care was not possible on the chars, this revolutionary tier in health delivery promised the care the char populace . . .

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Specialized Health CampThe floating hospitals and satellite clinics provide primary healthcare services in char and riverbank areas, but there also is an acute need for secondary healthcare. The LFH and EFH cater to this need through specialised health camps held free of cost. These health camps are organised regularly with specialist doctors from home and abroad to . . .

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River Ambulance Services Friendship launched the first catamaran river ambulance in Bangladesh to serve the population on the riverbanks and chars of the Jamuna, taking them to the Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital and the Emirates Floating Hospital in medical emergencies and natural disasters. The Friendship community teams have mobile phones to quickly . . .

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Mobile Health Solutions

Friendship is in the process of introducing mHealth Technology to integrate healthcare services more efficiently and provide the services more effectively. With mHealth, Friendship strives to overcome some challenges in its existing healthcare system such as manual data entry which is prone to errors. . .

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Cervical Cancer Project

Friendship launched a project named "Cervical Cancer See and Treat” in two floating hospitals and satellite clinics in Northern part of Bangladesh . . .

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Read the Fact Sheet of Healthcare, Nutrition & Population Programme


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Ways of contribution:

You can donate Friendship for a single amount as general donation or by considering the following options to support the floating hospitals for arranging specialized secondary health camps:

Cost of a single surgery:

Type of Surgery Cost
Dental Surgery $ 60
Minor Surgery $ 85
Eye Surgery $ 115
Pediatric Surgery $ 175
Orthopedic Surgery $ 200
Reconstructive Surgery $ 200
Gynecology Surgery $ 230

Note:Cost calculated considering 1$ = 77 BDT

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