BRAC formally launched its new book Making Tuberculosis History: Community-based Solutions for Millions at the annual conference of the prestigious International Union against Tuberculosis (TB) and Lung Disease on October 27, 2011. As part of a vibrant public-private partnership led by the National Tuberculosis Program, BRAC treats close to 100,000 patients annually in Bangladesh. BRAC’s efforts to scale internationally offer exciting evidence that their community-based program can be adapted globally.
Bertie Squire, President of the International Union Against Tuberculosis & Lung Disease, said, “BRAC was determined to take the services to the community, and this was an enormous step to make sure that accessing health care didn’t further impoverish patients, as is so often the case.”
Victoria Treland, Director of Program Development of RESULTS USA, said, “This book is so important is that it really shows what is possible.”
In an era of increasing technologies and tools marred by concerning wanes in political and financial commitment worldwide, telling Bangladesh’s story of huge achievements in TB has never been timelier. Indeed, the conference’s theme, “Partnerships for scaling up and care,” emphasized a growing global appetite for examples of effective programs and tools to help them achieve impact in their own communities.
Faruque Ahmed, Director of BRAC’s Health Program, initiated the book launch ceremony by describing BRAC’s evolution from a Liberation War rehabilitation organization in 1972 into a comprehensive, anti-poverty organization focused on empowering the poor. Its program combating tuberculosis, a disease closely linked with poverty, began over 25 years ago and was part of a movement that revolutionized how TB control was conceived globally.
“Can we apply our knowledge from the TB program to better prevent post-partum hemorrhage and death during childbirth?” Mr. Ahmed speculated. “Where else can these lessons be applied?”
Nils Billo, Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, commended BRAC’s honesty in describing challenges of past and present. “Even building on experiences in Bangladesh, where there were certainly big challenges, Afghanistan must be even harder and yet the program is going to scale. Making TB History shows that this is not easy, and goes through the many steps it took to get TB services to the community.
BRAC is a global development organization dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor to bring about change in their own lives. BRAC’s holistic approach aims to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable women and men to realize their potential. BRAC was launched in Bangladesh in 1972 and today reaches more than 138 million people in Africa and Asia through its programs that address poverty by providing micro-loans, self-employment opportunities, health services, education and legal and human rights services. Learn more at http://www.bracusa.org.