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Queen's University

Interprofessional Project on Disability, Maternal and Child Health (IPODMCH)

The Government of Canada provided funding through the Canadian International Development Agency for the Interprofessional Project on Disability, Maternal and Child Health (IPODMCH) in Bangladesh. This $1.3 million initiative is being implemented by the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR)/Queen's University as part of the Canadian Government's Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program. 

Project Information


Interprofessional Project on Disability, Maternal and Child Health (IPODMCH)


Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

with contribution from Queen's University


$1,318,325 CAD


December 2011- March 2015

Primary Site:



The project aims to provide training, education, policy advice and coordination reaching over a thousand IPMCHD workers, community health workers, policy makers, partner organizations, students in health studies and 12,000 community members in five regions in Bangladesh.


Watch a video on the ICACBR & IPODMCH -

Student blog:

Three Queen's Occupational Therapy students blogged about their placement with the program in Bangladesh -


  CRP Services for children with disabilities


Maternal and child health (MCH) is a priority for the government of Bangladesh, service providers, as well as women, their families and communities. The current level of services demonstrates the need for enhanced availability, quality and accessibility of MCH and disability (MCHD) services. The project responds to this need by increasing capacity and availability of multi-skilled community workers in interprofessional (IP) MCHD teams, and contributing to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality and disability rates. It will work with men and women in communities to raise awareness of benefits of seeking skilled health providers during pregnancy, labour and after, to ensure safe birth practices, nutrition, hygiene, and early childhood development. This will address the need for better understanding of MCHD among community members and increase utilization of services. Community mobilization activities will aim to positively influence attitudes towards MCH, disability, and increase awareness of how early intervention can reduce infant mortality, support development and inclusion of children with disabilities from birth.

Currently health professionals and community workers do not enjoy a referral or joint practice environment with a result that many disabilities are not identified and death and disability occurs when it could be prevented. By promoting IP practice and introducing IP practice guidelines with referral pathways, the project will facilitate establishment of links among existing services, and create a comprehensive approach to health and disability.

The project aims to integrate inclusive IPMCHD education at academic programs for health professionals. At the policy level, by creating understanding of IP practice and inclusive MCHD services among policy makers and improving coordination, the project develops a replicable model for mainstreaming disability into MCH initiatives that will draw on experiences of IPMCHD services introduced at the regional level, and contribute to the inclusion of disability into Millennium Development Goals (MDG) globally.

In developing countries almost 500,000 women die and 1.5 million become disabled annually of childbearing related causes. Research attributes high mortality to a lack of services, trained providers and referral, low utilization, women's low status and gender violence. Eleven million children die annually, the majority with preventable causes. The mortality rate for children with disabilities is 80%. Bangladesh has among the highest infant and maternal mortality rates and is reflected in global statistics.

Full Project Details - IPODMCH.pdf

Bangladesh - CBR

Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government
of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency
Projet réalisé(e) avec l'appui financier du gouvernement du
Canada accordé par l'entremise de l'Agence canadienne de développement
international (ACDI)

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000