The serene district of Gaibandha witnessed a significant stride in the field of child immunisation through a two-day training workshop held on December 2-3, 2023, under the ‘Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh’. The training aimed to empower officials and field workers in Saghata Upazila with the skills and knowledge required to enhance immunisation efforts. 

Presided over by Dr. Md. Arifuzzaman, the Saghata Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer, the workshop’s first day was dedicated to those directly involved in immunisation activities. The event was graced by notable figures such as Dr. Azizul Haque Tanzil, the Surveillance and Immunisation Medical Officer from the World Health Organization, and Dr. Md. Jasim Uddin, the Principal Investigator and Emeritus Scientist of the project from icddr,b. Their presence underscored the significance of this initiative. 

Dr. Arifuzzaman inaugurated the training with a warm welcome address. He highlighted the training objectives and the expectations for the attendees, setting a tone of purpose and collaboration. Dr. Md. Jasim Uddin then provided an overview of the Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh, emphasising the challenges and strategic interventions designed to improve immunisation coverage in the area.  

The training covered a range of activities including training of service providers, e-registration of target children, vaccination invitations through e-messaging, e-monitoring, e-screening checklists, advocacy with local leaders, and the distribution of BCC materials. These components aim to streamline immunisation efforts, particularly in remote char areas like Saghata Upazila, which have lagged in routine vaccination coverage.   

Dr. Risat Rumman, Mr. Raihana Islam, and Dr. Azizul Haque Tanzil led the training sessions, praising the innovative approaches being introduced. They assured full cooperation for the successful implementation of the project and expressed gratitude to icddr,b for this timely intervention. 

During the sessions, Mr. Hemel Das from icddr,b presented data on national and district-wise immunisation coverage under the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) in Bangladesh. His lively discussions highlighted preventable side effects and complications post-immunisation, which are crucial for the trainees to understand and communicate with the children’s parents. 

The training included hands-on practice with the ‘E-screening Checklist’ app, fostering great enthusiasm among the participants. The workshop concluded with a speech by Dr. Md. Arifuzzaman, who also announced the formation of a project management committee to oversee the implementation of the research activities. This committee, led by the Civil Surgeon and supported by the Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer, is tasked with monitoring, providing necessary support, and meeting bi-monthly to ensure the project’s progress.  

This training workshop represents a pivotal step towards improving child immunisation rates in Bangladesh, aiming to reach every child, even in the most remote areas. By equipping local health workers with innovative tools and strategies, this training initiative promises a brighter, healthier future for children in Saghata and beyond. 


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