A major step forward was made in strengthening the immunisation landscape in Bangladesh with a three-day training program that took place from December 3rd to December 5th, 2023. This workshop was centred around the Kawkhali Upazila in the Rangamati district, where field workers and officials from the health department at all levels came together with the shared goal of establishing the ‘Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh’ research implementation at the local level. 

Under the stewardship of Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr. Suimipru Roaja, the workshop commenced with an air of collaboration and determination. The assembly was graced by esteemed figures including Dr. Md. Mohiuddin, Director (Health) of the Chittagong Division, and Dr. Nihar Ranjan Nandi, Civil Surgeon of Rangamati. Their presence underscored the gravity of the initiative aimed at bolstering child immunisation across Bangladesh. 

Dr. Suimipru Roaja, in his welcoming address, expressed gratitude to all participants while singling out the research team from icddr,b for their timely project selection, ‘No Child Left Out of Vaccination.’ This project, he emphasised, holds the promise of ensuring equitable access to immunisation services, particularly in regions like Kawkhali Upazila. 

Following the welcome speeches, the workshop delved into the core objectives and components of the research project. Md. Wazed Ali, Field Research Manager at icddr,b, elucidated the background and outlined the roadmap for achieving immunisation equity. Dr. Md. Abdur Rahim, Consultant at icddr,b, echoed the call for cooperation, emphasising the pivotal role of collective effort in realising the project’s objectives.  

The commitment from governmental authorities was palpable as Dr. Md. Mohiuddin extended gratitude to the icddr,b research team and pledged full support from the health department. Dr. Nihar Ranjan Nandi, Civil Surgeon of Rangamati District, urged participants to work ardently towards the goal of eradicating vaccine disparities within the upazila. 

Syeda Sadia Nuria, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, echoed the sentiments of cooperation, affirming the administration’s unwavering support for the project’s success. As discussions progressed, attention was drawn to the importance of engaging local leaders and NGOs in advocacy efforts, a sentiment endorsed by Dr. Uching Marma, a UNICEF consultant. 

Amidst deliberations, logistical necessities such as the procurement of e-tracker tabs were addressed, with Dr. Uching Marma highlighting ongoing efforts to secure the required resources. A pivotal outcome of the workshop was the formation of a Sub-National Committee tasked with monitoring research activities at the grassroots level. This committee, comprising key stakeholders, symbolises a collaborative approach towards realising immunisation equity. 

Throughout the workshop, the spirit of collaboration and commitment resonated, underscoring a collective determination to ensure that no child is left behind in the journey towards comprehensive immunisation coverage. As the curtain fell on three days of deliberations and planning, the resolve to bridge immunisation gaps across Bangladesh burned brighter than ever before.


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