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Village Health Worker ("VHW") Training Program

Dhaka, Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the need for improved healthcare is acute. Health indicators: one physician for every 2000 people - 48% of children under five years are underweight – and 61% of people do not have proper sanitation.

In 2009, in conjunction with a national partner - a village health-worker ("VHW") training program was established in Dhaka to train health workers for deployment back to their own village to provide basic healthcare services. The program was developed by an experienced Director of Nursing and a licenced Doctor – and has received government approval.

The VHW training program is a four month in-residence training program, at our centre in Dhaka, and includes one month of clinical experience. Trainees are carefully screened for suitability and acceptability back in their own villages - to ensure long term sustainability. After the training program, health workers are required to establish a self-sustaining health services business back in their own village. The staff (doctor & nurse) at the training centre are available to the village health workers on a "call-in" basis – and additionally, periodic health conferences are provided to help health workers maintain and improve their skills.


To-date, 136 health workers have been trained and redeployed back to their villages to provide primary healthcare to the surrounding community.

The dropout rate from the program is very low (2%). The health workers have collectively reported over 255,000 patient visits over the last twelve month period. Additionally, in the past year, village health workers have provided health awareness training to over 30,000 villagers.

Measurable Outcomes: Over the past twelve month period -

Over 130 active village health workers operating self-sustaining health businesses
• Over 255,000 patient visits reported
• Over 30,000 villagers received health awareness training

Future Plans & Funding

There are plans underway to recruit and train another 20 health workers. However, funding of $8000 is required ($2000 per month for four months) to enable this training to take place.

How you can help - $400 provides funding for training one village health worker.