Interview with Mark Rajib Halder: "One doctor for 10,000 people“

by Franziska Baur,  2010/04/21

In the middle of April, Mark Rajib Halder and Dennis Datta, head of the organisation Koinonia (Bangladesh), visited the humedica headquarters in Kaufbeuren. Reasons for this visit were on the one hand the presentation of the new CEO, Mr Rajib Halder, on the other hand the presentation of the organisation’s plans for the future.

humedica had already cooperated with the organisation several times after natural disasters had occurred in the organisation’s base country in Southeast Asia.

Mr Rajib Halder, welcome to the humedica headquarters. Would you be so kind as to introduce yourself shortly?

My name is Mark Rajib Halder, I am 29 years old, a married father and I have studied business administration. I have been working for Koinonia since 2007 and three months ago I took over the position of CEO. Before that, I had been working for the holding organisation National Christian Fellowship of Bangladesh (NCFB) for a period of two years.

Mark Rajib Halder and Dr Dennis Datta of the Bangladeshi partner organisation Koinonia. Photo: humedica/Franziska Baur

How was the first contact between your organisation and humedica established and what is the cooperation like?

The first contact to humedica was established after a devastating cyclone in Bangladesh in 1991. When in 2007 my home country was hit by a strong cyclone once more (remark: this refers to cyclone “Sidr”), our cooperation grew closer.

humedica immediately sent medical teams and relief goods to my home country in order to help those affected by the disaster. From this point on, Koinonia and humedica have been working together very closely.

What is your task at Koinonia?

I have taken over the position of CEO in January. This reassignment of responsibilities took place after an intensive phase of special training and preparation, during which I was being advised by my predecessor Dr Dennis Datta.

My tasks include for example cultivating and coordinating contacts to the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), working out project proposals and preparing everything for their approval.

What would you consider to be the greatest advance and success of your work?

For me, personally, being able to work for Koinonia already is a success. By means of this work I can contribute to helping other people in various different fields, as for example regarding the health sector or the fight against poverty. I am very proud of this.

Regarding the organisation, the largest success has been achieved in the field of training and further training. However, we have also been affected strongly by the global financial crisis; financial support from abroad has been cut down.

According to your opinion, which ones are the sectors in which action and investment is needed most urgently in order to support the Bangladeshi population?

Stronger commitment is particularly needed in the medical field. Currently there is one doctor per 10,000 persons, one nurse per 6,000 persons in Bangladesh and it is impossible to grant sufficient and reliable medical care to everyone under such circumstances.

At the moment, Koinonia is training 20 young people who are to manage first medical care programmes in their home villages. This training programme is to contribute to changing the current situation.

Training programme for medical staff. Photo: Koinonia

What is your personal wish regarding the future of Koinonia?

The objective of our work is to offer people high-quality support in all essential aspects of life. We hope that we will be able to continue making this approach our highest priority also in future.

Besides the fields of poverty reduction, health, education, specialist training and equality, we are also planning to become more active in the field of climate change.

In a global comparison, Bangladesh is the country which is affected the worst by climate change. Therefore we have determined a substantially stronger need for action in this field.

Thank you very much for the interesting interview and we wish you all the best for your work.

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