Bangladesh Urban Health Network in ICUH 2014
The 11th International Conference on Urban Health 2014 was attended by a good number of participants from Bangladesh Urban Health Network. Since the 12th ICUH is to be held in Bangladesh in 2015, Bangladesh Urban Health had several activities during the ICUH 2014 to promote the next conference. The network had a booth set up in the exhibition space for distributing the numerous promotional materials of ICUH 2015. Two special sessions, Bangladesh Plenary and Flag Handover session for Bangladesh, were held during the conference.
BUHN along with other partners organized the Bangladesh Session in the ICUH 2014. This session was attended by a panel of speakers from Bangladesh. Speakers of this Bangladesh session included Dr. Halida Hanum Akhter, Chief of Party, NHSDP, USAID, Dr. Kaosar Afsana, Director, Health, BRAC, Dr. Peter Kim Streatfield, Director, CPUC, ICDDRB, Dr. Zahirul Islam, Programme Officer, Health, SIDA, and Mr. Ashoke Madhab Roy, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division (LGD), Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives. The session started with a welcome speech by Dr. Shamim Talukder where he discussed the status of the urban health indicators in Bangladesh and the achievements in MDGs. Dr. Halida presented on Primary Health Care Services for Maternal and Child Health in Urban Settings: Success Stories from Bangladesh. Dr. Afsana discussed Innovations in Urban Primary Health Care Services in Bangladesh. She focused on the need to give concerted attention to meet the needs of the urban poor and immerse in continuous innovations for designing a healthy “arrival city” for improved health of the urban poor. Dr. Peter explained the environmental challenges and the impact of migration on urban health. He emphasized on factors that contribute to the influx of migration and the impact it has on the health of urban poor. Dr. Zahirul presented on the evolving roles and relationships of public and private sectors in Bangladesh and the opportunities for further engagement. He emphasized on developing an effective strategy to expand coverage of health services and to address deficiencies in health service delivery systems. Mr. Roy presented the challenges and way forward for urban health and sustainability. He stressed that challenges of sustainability in urban health care emergence is a critical issue for the nation as a whole and therefore financial protection of the urban poor will be imperative to carry forward the overriding goals of universal coverage and health equity. The session was very interactive with queries from the participants on the sustainability of the urban health programs in our country. A video documentary presenting the urban look of Bangladesh was shown during the plenary. The whole session was facilitated by Anthony Kolb, Urban Health Advisor, USAID.
Apart from the session presentations, a flag handover ceremony was held during the closing session of ICUH 2014 to make the announcement of the next ICUH in 2015. This ceremony was commenced by Dr. Talukder, where he congratulated the hosts of ICUH 2014 on having completed the conference so successfully. Jo Ivey Boufford, President, New York Academy of Medicine and secretariat of ISUH expressed her full support to Dr. Shamim and his partners to organize another similar and even more outstanding conference next year. Mr. Ashoke Madhob Roy, Additional Secretary said considering the impact of urbanization and importance of urban health for developing counties, he is in complete agreement that an initiative such as this International Conference on Urban Health is instrumental in creating a global platform to mobilize actions, interventions and best practices. Hosting the 12th ICUH in 2015 in Bangladesh is a timely event since the country is presently facing many challenges due to rapid urbanization and the impact it is having on health. There is also an urgent need for decisive action to tackle other key issues like security, poverty, food production, housing and underdevelopment in the joint interest of securing a better life for all the urban population in Bangladesh. Thus, he welcomed everyone to Bangladesh to experience another spectacular and wonderful conference. Ms. Aparna Verma , host of ICUH2014 thanked everyone for contributing to the success of the conference and welcomed everyone to the next ICUH 2015 in Bangladesh. A promotional video for ICUH 2015 was shown which received a lot of applause. Video messages by Mr. Mohammed Nasim, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Monzur Hossain, Secretary Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Cooperatives, Mr. M M Neazuddin, Secretary, Ministry of health and Family Welfare, Ms. Roksana Quader, Additional Secretary, of same ministry and Mr. Dhiraj Kumar Nath, Former Advisor of Caretaker Government were also presented with messages of welcome. In the end Dr. Talukder inaugurated the website of ICUH 2015 and encouraged all for early abstract submission and registration. Overall the participation of Bangladesh at ICUH 2014 was a very successful one in respect to promoting ICUH 2015. Mr. Mohammed Shahjahan, Director and CEO, Bangladesh Centre for Communication Programme, Dr. Hossain Mohammed Chowdhury, General Manager, Marie Stopes and Dr. Selmin Jahan, Associate Coordinator, Eminence also represented Bangladesh Urban Health Network at the conference.