For the first time in the country, five fully dedicated floating hospital ships are being designed and constructed by naval architects and shipbuilding engineers exclusively from Bangladesh for marginal people.
The floating hospital ships will be operated by Friendship, a non-governmental organisation, with the support of the Fael Khair Program through the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Narayanganj Engineering and Shipbuilding Limited will construct the ships, said a press release of Friendship on Monday.
The inauguration of the ships construction work was held on Sunday at Ispahanir Char of Gozaria in Munshiganj.
The subsequent healthcare services will be provided in the riverine northern and southern regions of Bangladesh for the next five years to the marginalized and ultra-poor people who are deprived from access to proper medical care.
Five ships are designed from the start to be floating hospitals. With a draft of only 1.2 metre they are specifically designed to reach hard to reach areas. Four of them are 25 meters in length and one is 31 meters. All Floating ships are self-propelled with 4 decks complete with hospital facilities including operation theatre, doctors’ chambers and other medical facilities. First 2 ships will be delivered by end of 2018 and next 3 by first quarter of 2019.
Dr. Nizad M Subai, Director of Fael Khair of IDB said “Fael Khair is a fund of 266 million dollars donated by the late King of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah. The plan is to setup 75 mobile clinics in seven Asian Islamic countries. The objective is to help poor people far from regular access, thus helping society at whole by helping those who need it most.”
Abdul Baki, Joint Secretary, Economics Relations Development, Finance Ministry said, “Lots of people are still out of reach from health services, both private and state. It is therefore through the effort of the whole nation that people in remote areas can be brought out of the poverty trap. Bangladesh plans to be a poverty free country by 2030. Big thanks to Runa Khan and Friendship for helping towards this national goal.”