In a significant move to boost child immunisation in Bangladesh, a two-day training workshop was held on November 27-28, 2023, at the conference room of Nari Maitree Nagar Matri Sadan in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. This workshop aimed at implementing the ‘Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh,’ a project dedicated to ensuring that no child is left behind when it comes to immunisation.

Health department officials, vaccinators, and paramedics attended the training. Although Brig. Gen. A.K.M Shafiqur Rahman, Chief Health Officer of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), was slated to be the chief guest, but he could not attend due to prior commitments. In his stead, Mutakabbir Ahmed, Zonal Executive Officer (Deputy Secretary) of Zone 5, DNCC, and Dr. S M Wasimul Islam, Assistant Health Officer of DNCC, graced the event as special guests. 

The training commenced with a welcome speech from Dr. S M Wasimul Islam, who set the tone for the day by discussing the importance and objectives of the training for service providers. Mutakabbir Ahmed followed with an insightful speech, listening to challenges faced by vaccinators from wards 26 and 30, the intervention areas for the project. He emphasised strengthening the monitoring system to address Zero Dose (ZD) and Under-Immunised (UI) children, lauding the project’s efforts in “Leaving no-one behind with Immunisation.” 

Before delving into presentations, participants watched an animated video by RedOrange Communications, illustrating the current immunisation scenario in Bangladesh. This visual tool was highly appreciated for its clarity and impact, setting a comprehensive context for the discussions to follow.

The workshop featured a detailed PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Tasuva Wahed, Senior Research Investigator at icddr,b, along with Dr. Md. Abdur Rahim, Consultant for Coordination & Technical Support, Dr. Md. Jasim Uddin, Emeritus Scientist at icddr,b, Mr. Uzzal Mollah, EPI Supervisor at DNCC, and Mr. Tajmul Haque, Monitoring Officer at icddr,b. The presentation covered the ‘Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh,’ the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) in the country, and area-specific interventions.

Dr. Tasuva Wahed discussed the program’s overview, highlighting project partners, the background, objectives, components, and the challenges identified through rapid and in-depth assessments. Dr. Md. Abdur Rahim shared the history and progress of the EPI program, showcasing the evolution and coverage of vaccination over time.

Mr. Uzzal Mollah addressed the technical aspects, focusing on e-tracking, e-messaging, and e-monitoring tools used by participants. He facilitated discussions on practical issues, such as inputting incomplete names in the e-registration system, ensuring automatic e-messaging, and data modification challenges. Solutions were proposed to address these issues, enhancing the efficiency of digital tools in immunisation.

Advocacy meeting strategies were outlined by Mr. Tajmul Haque, emphasising the importance of involving key community stakeholders like Ward Counselors, slum leaders, and local pharmacists. He also discussed Behavior Change Communication (BCC) materials, suggesting improvements like incorporating pictures for better comprehension by uneducated mothers and addressing caregivers’ concerns about multiple vaccinations.

The formation of support teams at vaccination centers was another critical topic. Suggestions included involving paediatricians, traditional birth attendants (TBA), and field workers to bolster community support for EPI programs. Participants also proposed using signboards and social media for better public awareness.

Finally, the workshop highlighted plans for special immunisation sessions, such as evening and mobile EPI sessions, to accommodate working mothers who struggle to attend regular sessions.

This training marks a vital step in addressing immunisation gaps in Dhaka North, reinforcing Bangladesh’s commitment to achieving immunisation equity. By empowering health workers with knowledge and practical solutions, the ‘Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh’ strives to ensure every child receives life-saving vaccines, moving closer to a healthier future for all.


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