During the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971, a group Bangladeshi doctors managed to mobilize money from overseas doctors and friends all over the world to set up a 480 bed field hospital on the Indian boarder for the wounded freedom fighters and refugees. After the war in 1972, the hospital was transferred to 132 Eshkaton, Dhaka, then to Savar 40 Km north of the capital Dhaka and stated working as Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK).
GK started with basic primary health care approach. At present GK has concentrated efforts in five major areas: Health care, Advocacy and Education, Agriculture, Disaster management, vocational training for women. The health section comprises of a training division (training of paramedics, Traditional Birth Attendant), and provision of rural and urban health services.
To develop a community oriented health care program which can provide comprehensive health care services.
In order to achieve the objectives GK has been implementing Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC). The CPHC program is providing services for over a million populations in the GK operational areas. As an outcome of the various inputs, the health status of the people has improved over time. Major improvement has been observed in GK catchment area for the following health indices, such as IMR came down to 21.58 /1000 live birth, MMR 102.39/100,000 live birth, CBR 10.12 and CDR 1.80. Thus GK has already attained some of the health related target of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Over the years GK has acquired capacities to mobilize large number of health workers, local NGOs, CBOs and local volunteers in post disaster medical relief and recovery activities.
GK is trying to attain its objectives of health and working with the disadvantaged and deserving poor people through Specialized Health Camps (SHC) who needs basic health care in hard to reach areas of Bangladesh.
GK provides preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative services along with some component of social improvements through social based health insurance system. The community divided into six classes such as Ultra poor, Poor; Lower middle class, Middle class, Upper middle class and Rich class. The care is extending from home to tertiary level. There are 43 sub-centres, of which 5 centres can perform as referral centres, in 631 villages, 28 Upazila of 19 districts.