21 November 2011, Dhaka. Lessons Learned Sharing Session on “Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government” project of Community Empowerment Programme, BRAC, with assistance from United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), was held on 21st November, 2011, at BRAC Centre Inn.
The session was chaired by Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director, BRAC. Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, former Adviser of the Caretaker Government was present as the Chief Guest at the session. We were also honored to have Dr. Asif Nazrul, Professor, Department of Law, Dhaka University as Special Guest, and Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, Vice President and Country Director, The Hunger Project-Bangladesh and Dr. Dilara Chowdhury, Professor, North South University as guest speakers. The welcome address inauguration of the session was given by Anna Minj, Director, Community Empowerment Programme, BRAC. Presentation on lessons learned from the “Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government” project was given by Kazi Nazrul Fattah, Programme Manager, Community Empowerment Programme, BRAC. Representatives from various government, non-government organizations, embassies, members of the civil society, Union Parishad Chairman and representatives, and project beneficiaries and participants were also present.
The main aim of the Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government project was to create conditions for more active civic engagement among rural poor citizens and strengthen capacities of local government towards more accountable and effective governance. The main activities of the project included creating Citizens Committees as ward level community watch groups of the local governments and evaluation of the Union Parishad through these rural people. Through this project grassroots people became sensitized about their rights and civic responsibilities. In addition, local government representatives became sensitized about their responsibilities.
The Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government Project was implemented in 10 Upazilas in Bogra and Jessore. Direct project beneficiaries and participants under this project included 1,357 Union Parishad representatives, 300 Polli Shomaj (19,500 members), and 300 Citizens Committees (4,917 members).
In the lessons learned sharing session, all the speakers and participants agreed that if the Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government Project is scaled up and implemented, local communities will be able to get better access to service and resource delivery. They also agreed that grassroots people will become aware about their citizens rights and responsibilities, and get access to dependable information about resources and services of the local government through such initiatives. The project has made local government more sensitized towards better service delivery, becoming more transparent and accountable towards pro-poor good governance, benefitting the poor, and marginalized, especially women. Pathways for good governance will be created through the active participation the local community as well as local government representatives and administration.
Dr Akbar Ali Khan, former advisor to the Caretaker Government commented, “I am a strong supporter of local governance and administration. Decentralized local governance needs to be empowered for grassroots community empowerment and development. Local Governance Commission needs to be created to monitor and audit activities of the local government.” In addition, Dr. Akbar Ali commented that, “The Active Citizens and Accountable Local Government project made good achievements, whose best learnings should be scaled up for greater impact.”
Dr. Asif Nazrul, Professor, Dhaka University, in his speech, commented, “Grassroots participation is a key essential component for ensuring transparency and accountability of the local government. The Right to Information Act provides good opportunity for increasing people’s access to information and ensuring good governance.”
21 November 2011, Dhaka. The GAVI Alliance (formerly the “Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation”) is Geneva-based public-private partnership which strives to improve health in the world’s poorest countries. The Alliance connects developing countries with government donor organisations, the World Health organisation, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.
GAVI provides life-saving vaccines and works to strengthen health systems. In its first decade of work, GAVI has financed the immunisation of 325.6 million children and prevented more than 5.5 million premature deaths.
On November 11th 2011, BRAC played co-host to The GAVI Alliance Board Meeting and associated events. The week began with the GAVI-Civil Society Organisation Steering Committee meeting, a series of activities and field visits, in addition to the observance of World Pneumonia Day. The week then ended with a culminating GAVI Board meeting from the 15th to the 17th.
Members from participating countries led the Steering Committee Meeting. Among others, Rosemary Anderson Akola (Oxfam Ghana), Awunyo-Akaba (Future Generations International, Ghana), Sabrina Bakeera Kitaka (Uganda Pediatric Association), Daniel Berman (Médecins sans Frontier, Switzerland), Marwin Meier (World Vision Germany), Naveen Thacker (Indian Academy of Pediatrics) and Simon Wright (Save the Children) were present. Dr. Akramul Islam, Programme Head, BHP, and Dr. Sharmin Akhter Zahan, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, acted as BRAC participants.
On November 12th, as an observance of Pneumonia Day, participants travelled to various field sites to raise awareness and to network with GAVI-CSO and country CSOs like BRAC. Three Parliamentary Members from the UK, Mr. Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development; Lord Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh of Cornhill, Vice-Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bangladesh and Mr. Jim Dobbin MP, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Global Action against Childhood Pneumonia has joined the visit. Along with the CSO-SC and British MPs, representatives from MOHFW of Bangladesh Govt. and EPI and DG Health were present. The participants were divided into three groups in three sites that included visits to the local Upazila Health Complex to observe the cold chain system for vaccination, immunisation in government community clinic and CSO activities for health education and community mobilisation for immunisation in BRAC’s field operation. A video message by BRAC’s founder and chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, stressing the importance of preventative measures for pneumonia in Bangladesh was shown while concluding the session in Ruposhi Bangla Hotel on the 13th of November.
Field visits for the board members were organised on November 14th in different locations, including Upazilla Health Complexes, community clinics, where immunisation sessions occurred, as well as neighbourhoods, to view the activities of community mobilisation for immunisation by BRAC Health Volunteers.
Over the next two days, the GAVI Alliance Board Meeting began in the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, Dhaka. The meeting started with a welcome speech by Mr. Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair, GAVI Board and former Health Minister of Norway. The CEO Report was presented by Dr Seth Berkley, who mentioned and reported, “I would particularly like to highlight and thank Faruque Ahmed as a former Board Member and Director of the BRAC Health Programme, which represents one of the best examples of the power of civil society in Development in Bangladesh and the world”.
GAVIs Immunisation short film transmitted an interview conducted by Saleha Akhter, a member of BRAC’s Adolescent Development Programme with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheik Hasina as well as those involved in Bangladesh's remarkable success over the last decade to reach children with vaccines including a health worker, a mother, BRAC's Faruque Ahmed, and the Minister of Health. The next session followed with Prof. AFM Ruhal Haque’s Country Report on Bangladesh, where Prof. Haque again mentioned the CSOs role.
The concluding session was remarkable as the CEO and Chair Mr. Høybråten renewed his thanks for the work of the Bangladesh Government and the partners like UNICEF, WHO and particularly BRAC, in the efforts of immunisation and vaccination.
16 November 2011. BRAC, the world’s largest development organization, lays out its “microfinance plus” approach to defeating global poverty at the Global Microcredit Summit 2011 in Valladolid, Spain, this week. Presenting BRAC’s strategy to over 2,000 delegates at the annual microfinance conference, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder and chairperson, advocates a market-oriented approach to job creation and poverty alleviation that puts poor borrowers on a path to prosperity by giving them a “business in box.”
It’s an approach that development experts call “micro-franchising.” Working in poor communities, BRAC develops sustainable business models that can be easily replicated, creating networks of self-employed micro-entrepreneurs who earn extra income by delivering vital services that achieve a social good.
More than 137.5 million of the world’s poorest families received a microloan in 2010, an all-time high, according to the Microcredit Summit Campaign. BRAC itself reaches over 8 million borrowers, a number rising steadily thanks in part to this year’s launch of bKash Limited, a mobile financial service provider in Bangladesh and a subsidiary of BRAC Bank, the organization’s bank targeting small businesses.
But development organizations should think beyond microfinance to make strides against poverty, BRAC’s founder says. “Financial services alone are not sufficient to break the bonds of poverty,” says Abed, who launched BRAC in Bangladesh in 1972. In a paper presented at the conference, Abed explains how BRAC has combined microfinance with agricultural services to improve rural livelihoods and food security in Bangladesh and around the world.
Now in 10 countries, BRAC has built a global network of 150,000 micro-franchised entrepreneurs providing services in agriculture, poultry, livestock and health. Abed calls it a “holistic, sustainable, market oriented approach” to poverty alleviation that uses microloans, training and branding, while offering borrowers low-cost access to inventory, efficient distribution systems and continuous support.
“BRAC provides the branding, inventory and training to the micro-entrepreneurs, who in turn provide training and product to BRAC microfinance clients and others in the villages where BRAC operates,” writes Abed and co-authors Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Susan Davis, and Rod Dubitsky in the paper, “Using Microfinance Plus Agricultural Services to Improve Rural Livelihoods and Food Security,” which will appear in the forthcoming volume New Pathways out of Poverty (Sterling, Va.: Kumarian Press).
“The entrepreneurs, in turn, earn income by selling the goods BRAC provides at a mark-up. For example, BRAC entrepreneurs earn between $15 and $20 per month in the provision of poultry vaccination services. Farmers in turn get a valuable service and expect to benefit by enjoying a material drop in poultry mortality. Such a ‘Business in a Box’ not only provides a valuable service and income, it is a more sustainable model than other programs that provide vaccines free (which may not be available to all farmers and may not be reliably available).”
Micro-franchising has proved useful in bridging the last mile in the delivery of vital goods and services, says Susan Davis, the president and CEO of BRAC USA and one of the paper’s co-authors. “A poor person can find a bottle of Coca-Cola today anywhere in rural Africa – but not mosquito bed nets and condoms,” says Davis. “Distribution is a real challenge that organizations never speak about, but it is one of the most critical hurdles in reaching the poor. Microfinance institutions can effectively bridge this gap. For instance, BRAC reaches more than 8 million women, every week – at their doorstep, in providing credit and financial services. Can you imagine the potential of a sustainable distribution model like this?”
BRAC began its experiments with micro-franchising decades ago when it realized that merely lending to the poor would not be enough to lift them out of poverty. Dramatic improvement would come, however, with better access to markets, fairer prices, knowledge transfer and higher quality inputs like high-yield seeds and new breeds of chickens. BRAC created agricultural enterprises and services to enhance the business prospects of its microfinance borrowers and other members of poor communities. It used the same approach in providing health care, raising an army of “community health promoters” to provide simple but vital services in slums and villages, like de-worming medication and oral rehydration solution to treat diarrhea in young children.
Though largely unknown outside the international development community, experts have long noted the size and scope of BRAC’s success in Bangladesh. Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion, has called BRAC “the most astounding social enterprise in the world.” The Economist called it not only the largest but “one of the most businesslike” nongovernmental organizations in the world.
Today, BRAC is scaling up its micro-franchising approach outside its native Bangladesh. Through a ground-breaking $45 million partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, BRAC has built a network of 3,500 micro-franchised entrepreneurs in Uganda providing critical livelihood and health services to the poor. It currently operates in ten countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Haiti, Liberia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda.
BRAC, formerly the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, 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.
About the Microcredit Summit Campaign
The Microcredit Summit Campaign is a project of RESULTS Educational Fund, a U.S.-based advocacy organization committed to creating the will to eliminate poverty. The Campaign was launched in 1997 and, in 2007, surpassed its original goal of reaching 100 million of the poorest families, providing credit for self-employment and other financial and business services. The Global Microcredit Summit 2011 is held November 14-17 in Valladolid, Spain. http://www.globalmicrocreditsummit2011.org.
16 November 2011, London. Media events and launch activities are taking place across the UK in October and November as up to 300 restaurants implement Vision Bangladesh ‘£1 on the Bill’ campaign.
Each restaurant is provided by BRAC UK with materials to run the scheme in their restaurant for a period of four to eight weeks. Early indications show that restaurants are raising on average £100-150 per week and that their loyal customers are showing huge support for Vision Bangladesh, many donating more than the voluntary £1 contribution.
Launch events have already been held in Surrey, Oxford, Carlisle, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Northampton and have generated valuable publicity for the restaurants and the campaign.
31 October 2011, London. Channel S viewers and studio guests donated generously to Vision Bangladesh during a live eight hour telethon organised by BRAC UK in October.
Highly respected leaders from the British Bangladesh business communities – including famous celebrity chefs and award winning restaurateurs – turned up in force to support the goal of eradicating avoidable blindness in Sylhet by 2013 and in Bangladesh by 2020.
Barrister, Anwar Babul, was the host for the evening and welcomed guests many of whom are participating in Vision Bangladesh’s £1 on the Bill restaurant campaign.
Monchab Ali, Vision Bangladesh’s Regional Representative for the North-West and former Chairman of the Greater Sylhet Council was joined by other Regional Representatives, Dobir Miah (Rochdale), Shabbir Ahmed Chawdhury (Oxford), Shah F. Athar (East Sussex), Rokib Ali (Kent), and Raja Ali (Portsmouth) to discuss their role in the fundraising efforts.
Rois Ali, celebrity chef, endorsed the campaign and his involvement as Coventry Regional Representative. Azizur Rahman, in his capacity as senior advisor to £1 on the Bill campaign, encouraged more restaurants to sign up and take part.
BRAC UK was particularly honoured to have the Chairman of Channel S himself, Ahmed US Samad Choudhury JP, appear in the studio and support the fundraising effort.
Alsaz Kabiri, proprietor of Greenwich Linen, supplying restaurants across the UK, Mujib Islam, Managing Director of Media Link, and Nazmul Islam, Chairman of Oldham Bangladesh Association also pledged their continued support to the campaign.
Nilopar Uddin, a lawyer and former volunteer of BRAC came to discuss her first hand experience of BRAC in Bangladesh, and Ryo Osaki, an eye surgeon, explained the simplicity of the cataract operation.
BRAC UK was represented by trustees Robert Evans and Murad Qureshi AM and Vision Bangladesh Project Manager, Tanha Habib.
Abdul Khan, Programme Officer, and Gihan Chowdhury and Shamina Banu, Global Youth Workers, for BRAC UK’s Beyond Boundaries programme also motivated more young British-Bangladeshis to get involved.
16 November 2011, Dhaka. Bangladesh’s top NGOs and businesses united under the banner of the "Every Mother, Every Child" initiative which was launched in 20101, by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. The Secretary General is visiting Bangladesh for the second time during his term. The event at the Sonargaon Hotel, was co-hosted by BRAC, icddr b, the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Foundation and sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank.
BRAC, the world’s largest NGO based in Bangladesh, committed $260 million to global programmes which directly work to achieve the goals of the UN initiative.
"We need to focus on providing access to a continuum of care across different stages of the human life cycle in order to effectively address this challenge," said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairman of BRAC.
During the event, iccddr,b Executive Director Alejandri Cravioto, said "Improving maternal and child health is central to the research agenda of icddr,b. Our commitment this evening is to the expansion of our services to include comprehensive obstetric services to reduce maternal deaths to zero in the Matlab areas."
The Finance Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, along with other reputed members of the political, media, and business community were present at the meeting.
Key note speaker, Ban Ki-Moon praised the cooperative between the public and private sector in Bangladesh.
"The United Nations has initiated a global movement to empower women and children of our world. The results are remarkable. And nowhere is this more important than here in Bangladesh," said BanKi-Moon.
The mentioned global effort received significant amount of support from the private sector on a global scale. 191 states and partners have made 206 commitments to "Every Mother, Every Child". Within five years it is anticipated partners will commit another $40 Billion.
Many members of the Bangladeshi private sector are showing particular interest in reaching the Millennium Development Goals, and supporting the "Every Mother, Every Child" programme.
Only sixteen countries are expected to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which include eradicating poverty and protecting the planet, Bangladesh being one of them.
10 November 2011, Kampala, Uganda. Highlighting the importance of close coordination between government, NGOs and private sector, Minister of State Dr. Prof. Z. Nyira has urged all to work together in order to establish the ultimate goal of creating a ‘Healthy Uganda’. He was inaugurating the day long workshop focused on availability and awareness of nutrient-rich food crops in Uganda. The event brought together key policy makers and representatives from development partners including donors, civil society and academia working on food security, nutrition and bio-fortification.
Stressing the urgency of the matter, the minister said that 38% of Ugandan children are stunted, 16% are underweight and 6% are categorized as wasted. He added that this prevalence means that 2.3 million young children in Uganda today are chronically malnourished.
Executive Director of BRAC Dr. Mahabub Hossain echoed the danger of the situation and said BRAC is committed towards ensuring food and nutrition security. He said that mal-nutrition is a result of lack of nutrients in the food intake of particularly the poor and bio-fortification in crops in an area Government and Private Sector should seriously focus on to change this situation.
Deputy Executive Director of BRAC Dr. Imran Matin stressed the need for stronger cooperation since multi dimensional problem that requires an integrated approach.
The minister praised BRAC’s initiative in Uganda and said its scale showed its efficiency and welcomed the latest advocacy effort on malnutrition.
The day long workshop saw a number of presentations on global initiatives and status of bio-fortification in the world and in Uganda, Uganda nutrition action plan, challenges for future among many. The participants shared knowledge to enhance the extension, awareness and marketability of nutrient-rich food crops among rural farmers.
01 November 2011, Dhaka. We are proud to announce that Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, has been awarded the first WISE Prize for Education in recognition of his 40-year career dedicated to alleviating poverty through education. On November 1, 2011, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar presented Sir Fazle with the prize, which is the world’s first major award for education, before 1,300 delegates at the opening session of the third World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). For this inaugural edition, following a pre-selection by a Committee, a prestigious Jury selected Sir Fazle as the inaugural Laureate. Sir Abed received an award of $500,000 (US) and a specially designed gold medal, bearing the word “education” in over 50 languages.
In his citation of the Laureate, WISE Chairman H.E. Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani said: “Fazle Hasan Abed’s life and career embody the values of WISE. He recognized that education is a passport to social inclusion and opportunity. He discovered a successful formula, and he adapted and expanded it – first in Bangladesh and then in other countries. As a direct consequence, millions of people around the world lead healthier, happier and more productive lives. His vision, resourcefulness and determination are vital ingredients of the innovation process and he stands as an example to all of us who believe that education, more than anything else, determines the destiny of individuals and societies. The Jury saw him as an ideal WISE Prize Laureate.”
In acceptance remarks, Fazle Hasan Abed said: “I thank the Qatar Foundation for instituting this magnificent Prize and for honouring me and BRAC with its first instalment. It is on behalf of the 50,000 BRAC staff and nearly 40,000 BRAC school teachers that I humbly accept this prize. I have discovered time and again in my four decades of work with BRAC that education is the fundamental catalyst for change. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the large numbers. But we must always remember that the changes happen in individual lives and families. Many of the graduates of BRAC’s non-formal schools have gone on to receive University degrees and have become Doctors, Lawyers and Engineers. One girl has gone on to win Bangladesh’s version of American Idol. These young people may have achieved different things in their lives but one thing that they had in common – education has unlocked new opportunities for all of them.”
The establishment of the WISE Prize was announced at the closing of the last WISE Summit in December 2010 as a major accolade to recognize an individual or team for an outstanding, world-class contribution to education. In addition to the gold medal, the winner receives an award of $500,000 (US). Following an international call for nominations, an 11-strong international committee of educational experts made a preliminary assessment and a high-level Jury of five eminent individuals, chaired by Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, took the final decision.
Under Sir Fazle’s visionary leadership, BRAC has grown to become the largest provider of private, secular education in the world, contributing to the pre-primary, primary and secondary education of more than 10 million students. Click here to find out more about BRAC’s groundbreaking interventions in education.
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.
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27 October 2011, Dhaka. At the prestigious International Union against TB and Lung Disease’s annual conference in Lille, France, BRAC formally launched its new book “Making Tuberculosis History: Community-based Solutions for Millions”. 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-up internationally offer exciting evidence that their community-based program is widely adaptable, by other stakeholders and even for other health conditions. As Victoria Treland of RESULTS USA remarked at the event, “this book is so important is that it really shows what is possible”. In an era of increasing technology and tools marred political and financial commitments mar the social development sector worldwide, and so telling of the vast achievements Bangladesh has made 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 impact their communities.
Faruque Ahmed, Director of BRAC Health Programme, initiated the ceremony by walking the audience through the book’s contents, 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 began over twenty-five 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?”
Several global experts offered prepared reflections on Making Tuberculosis History. Diana Weil, Coordinator of Policy, Strategy and Innovations in the Stop TB Department, World Health Organization described her excitement when observing BRAC’s program first-hand. “So often, peer-reviewed papers only describe what has been done. Here you learn what’s going on between the lines and the complexities of what it takes to do this kind of work”. Bertie Squire, President of the Union and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine said he was most struck by how accessible the community health volunteer model made not just tuberculosis treatment, but the equally important steps of screening and diagnosis. “BRAC was determined to take the services to the community […], an enormous step to make sure that accessing health care didn’t further impoverish patients, as is so often the case.”
Representing two of BRAC’s longest-running partners, Asique Hussain of the National Tuberculosis Programme of Bangladesh, and Isao Osada, of the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, served as panelists. Dr. Hussain shared the government’s ongoing efforts to establish 13,500 community clinics, which will further improve access to TB treatment nationwide. He, along with other speakers, emphasized the role of this book as an advocacy tool to sustain political commitment and a resource for learning. “I’m very glad that they’ve published the book to help share the knowledge and lessons around the world.” Osada noted examples of BRAC’s innovation in community-based programming and the depth of the institutions’ three-decade relationship. “We are very proud to have been a collaborative partner for this great achievement”, he concluded.
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