Kailakuri has 90 staff members. The project founder and director Dr Edric Baker passed away on 1 September 2015, but he has trained the paramedic staff over a number of years, enabling the project to continue running smoothly after his death. All staff take part in weekly training sessions, run by the senior paramedics. There are two-monthly rotating internee doctors from Gonoshashtaya Kendra Medical College and Hospital, and Sister Doctor Jenny (who lives in Dhaka) has been a Project Advisor to Kailakuri since Dr Baker passed away. We are awaiting the arrival of long-term, permanent doctors Jason and Merindy Morgenson (from USA) in late 2016.
The Centre services a very poor area with a mixed population of Bengali Muslim, indigenous minorities the Mandi (many of whom are Christian) and Borman (Hindu). The basic ethno-religious statistics are as follows.
Edric believed that to effectively help the poor you have to fully identify with them. He lived in very simple accommodation, much the same as the rest of the local community, and ate the same food.
Edric Baker was very much a people person. His deep Christian faith gave him a concern for the outcast, the poor, the marginalised. He had skills as a medical Dr. All of these things he brought together in the Kailakuri Health Care Project where poor people of different ethnicity and faith harmoniously work together for the good of their community. Prior to involvement with Kailakuri, these different ethnic and religious communities would have had little or nothing to do with each other. Today they work together, inspired by Edric Baker’s selfless example.
Working together as a team in 2015 they achieved the following outcomes:
All of this was achieved on a budget of USD 305,385
The medical practices followed are simple, appropriate and cheap. Even so, the poor can not afford to pay for more than 10 or 15% of the cost.
The more families have to pay for health treatment, the less they have to pay for food, water and sanitation – and the sicker they get. There will always be a need for some external funding.
What is being achieved at Kailakuri is unique.
Historically antagonistic ethnic and religious groups are working together.
Health services are being provided for the poor, by the poor. Kailakuri is managed and operated by the poor.