To achieve improved health outcomes, public, private, and non-governmental (NGO) health care providers must join forces to collaboratively improve the quality of health care services and build resilient health systems.
A learning event, Integrated Community Development for Better Health: Perspectives from Bangladesh, organized by URC, an international organization based in the U.S., was held on January 17 at the Sheraton Dhaka Banani. The event provided an opportunity for Government of Bangladesh officials, the international donor community – including the United States Agency for International for Development (USAID) – and representatives from Bangladesh’s NGO and the university community to discuss how to ensure the best delivery of high-quality care at all levels of the health care system in Bangladesh and beyond.
University Research Co., LLC (URC) works with underserved communities worldwide to improve the quality of health care and social services. Since 1965, URC has earned a reputation for technical excellence and innovation through work with national governments, the private sector, and US federal, state, and local agencies. Based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, US, URC has worked in over 90 countries worldwide.
The dialogue featured keynote remarks from Professor Dr. Ainun Nishat, Former Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Renowned Educationalist; USAID Mission Director Kathryn Stevens; and Dr. Jahir Uddin Ahmed, Director of Board, Social Marketing Company. Two panel discussions featured voices of individuals with experience designing, implementing, and sustaining health systems that are responsive to the needs and preferences of the communities where they work. Panelists discussed how incorporating strong community actions and voices into health systems strengthens societal partnerships, builds capacity in communities, and promotes trust and shared accountability for health system performance.
Other panelists included Mr. Riad Mahmud, Country Director, Max Foundation, Dr. Najmus Sadiq, Public Health Physician and URC Technical Advisor, Dr. Abu Muhammad Zakir Hussain, CEO (Honorary), Social Sector Management Foundation, Mr. Mostafa Nurul Islam Reza, Head of Agriculture and Environment Programs, RDRS, Mr. Toslim Uddin Khan, Managing Director and CEO, Social Marketing Company (SMC), Ms. Jean Margaritis, Portfolio Director, URC, and Mr. Md. Mukhlesur Rahman, Deputy Director, Health Sector, DAM.
The event highlighted promising interventions and good practices in health service delivery at the community level. Bangladesh has been a leader in public health research and implementation on a large scale for low-cost technologies provided at the community level.
Conference moderator, Maureen Shauket, URC Chief Operating Officer, commented: “New thinking and learning from the experiences of others is key to improving the quality of care and health outcomes in the communities where we work.”