During the mid nineties in one of the workshops a need was felt that, the then undivided Bihar, needed an organization which works exclusively on health. It was during 1996-1998, that it was decided to start a resource centre for health in Patna, Bihar (including Jharkhand). Several rounds of discussions were held with the like minded people which, included doctors, journalists, lawyers, social activists, scientists, trade union activists and members of women’s groups. The name of the organization was decided as Centre for Health and Resource Management (CHARM). It was registered under Societies Registration Act, Government of Bihar in 1999. Initially, Action Aid agreed to provide the support to CHARM for one year, which they did through umbrella funding. CHARM got its FCRA registration in 2001.
Few of the programmes implemented by CHARM include:
- Advocacy for Change, Repositioning Family Planning – Promoting birth spacing is funded through the Population Foundation of India (Supported by Packard Foundation). It’s intended to reposition family planning with a focus on promoting birth spacing, leading to every family being planned and every child being wanted and healthy.
- Improving Health and Nutritional Status of the Scheduled Castes and Muslims (women and children) in the Nalanda district. It’s funded by Caritas India and Christian Aid UK as lead for First Consortium (PACS) and same is funded by OXFAM India in Patna district. It’s intended to enhance the uptake of health and nutrition entitlements by Dalits, Muslims and women and to strengthen the demand for improved delivery of health and nutrition services.
- Strengthening Maternal New born Child Health and Nutrition services in India, funded by Save the Children. It’s intended to contribute to strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) services and practices through interventions in capacity building, governance and accountability.
- Reducing Infant Mortality through Optimal Feeding. Bihar is funded through the Aga Khan Foundation (India) supported by DFID. The goal was to reduce neonatal and infant mortality.
- Providing Safe and Hygienic Sanitation Facilities in Urban and Rural India, funded by Save the Children. It aims to develop safe and hygienic sanitation facilities for the village poor, etc.
CHARM has worked in the past with children of urban slums in Patna on several occasions. In the year 2004-2006, it worked for improving the health and nutrition status of approximately 4000 Children under five years with support from the Association of Indians for Development (USA). CHARM has been able to improve the nutritional status of more than 50% targeted children at the end of the project cycle. The nutritional status of children was measured through anthropometric methods, like measuring the Mid Upper Arm Circumference of children between one to five years through a colour coded measuring tape and also plotting the weight of children on a graph (age to weight).
Earlier in 2002-2004, CHARM in association with UNICEF worked in slums of Patna for improving the immunization status of 5000 children under five years. The project intervention raised the complete immunization coverage of children aged 12 to 23 months to more than 70% from 13%, (Complete Immunization means that child receives all the prescribed doses of six antigens – OPV, BCG, DPT and Measles by 12 months of age).
CHARM in association with SAVE, worked to mitigate health problems of the urban slum dwellers in 2007-2009. CHARM treated more than 25000 patients through outreach weekly health camps in different locations situated within the slum dwellings of urban Patna.