30 May 2008, Dhaka. A group of three British MPs visited several BRAC projects in Gazipur and Dhaka city as part of a week-long study tour to Bangladesh to learn about efforts to combat tuberculosis (TB) and poverty. MPs Annette Brooke, Liberal Democrat – Mid Dorset & North Poole, Kerry McCarthy, Labour – Bristol East, and Marsha Singh, Labour – Bradford West, visited a birthing hut operated by BRAC’s Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health programme in Dhaka city’s Korail slum on Thursday.
The MPs also paid a visit to a BRAC school in Korail where they spent time talking to the students and teacher. Following her visit to the Korail BRAC school, MP Kerry McCarthy said, “I was struck by the scope and extent of BRAC’s work and particularly enjoyed my visit to the BRAC school…the children were delightful and very keen to demonstrate their English language skills! I would like to congratulate BRAC and their work to alleviate poverty in Bangladesh.”
On Wednesday, the MPs also visited a BRAC village organisation in Gazipur, where they observed BRAC’s microfinance activities and met with a BRAC health volunteer. The MPs then visited a BRAC community health forum and an antenatal care clinic and was able to observe various activities under BRAC’s groundbreaking TB Control Programme, including Directly Observed Therapy – Short Course (DOTS) for TB by a health volunteer, a TB outreach smearing centre and TB and external quality assurance laboratories. “The success of the TB programme in Bangladesh is impressive and must be maintained. It is a model that could be translated and implemented effectively by other countries,” observed MP Annette Brooke.
“This is my first visit to Bangladesh and I have been inspired by the energy, dynamism and optimism of the Bangladeshi people, including the poorest of the poor” said MP Marsha Singh, “Bangladesh faces many daunting challenges but in BRAC has a national NGO to be proud of. The scope, extent and reach of BRAC is staggering and its grassroots work is so impressive and effective”. He added, “I will leave Bangladesh with a feeling of immense hope”.