The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), in collaboration with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; has launched the Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh. The objective of this initiative is to gather and analyse information on the barriers that prevent children from accessing vaccines, identify Zero Dose (ZD) children, strengthen evidence-based effective approaches, and enhance metrics, measures, and methods for regular assessment.
The inception meeting of the Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity was held on 10th January 2023 at the CIRDAP auditorium. Dr Md. Anwar Hossain Howlader, Secretary of the Health Services Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) graced the meeting as the Chief Guest. The Country Learning Hub (CLH) is expected to help programme planners and policymakers by generating and synthesising learning on the barriers to reaching children.
The CLH will help identify and reach Zero-Dose (ZD) children and missed communities by understanding what works, what should be scaled up, and what does not work. Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, Executive Director at icddr,b, stated that while Bangladesh has achieved a remarkable immunisation coverage rate, some children remain unvaccinated. The CLH will investigate why this is happening and how to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all children in Bangladesh and other developing countries across the world.
The initiative will use evidence-based approaches to identify and reach ZD and under-immunised children and missed communities, and will also help to improve metrics, measures, and methods to assess and use data regularly. Through these efforts, the CLH aims to achieve equitable access to vaccines for all children, regardless of their socio-economic status or geographical location.
The Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh is a crucial initiative that will contribute significantly to reducing the number of ZD children in Bangladesh. It will help strengthen the existing immunisation programme by identifying gaps and developing evidence-based solutions to address them. The initiative will also help other developing countries across the world by sharing best practices and effective approaches to reach ZD children and missed communities.
Dr Md. Jasim Uddin, Emeritus Scientist at icddr,b and principal investigator of the ‘Country Learning Hub for Immunisation Equity in Bangladesh’ project; Dr Heidi Reynolds, Senior Specialist, Evaluation and Learning, Gavi; Mr Syed Mojibul Huq, Additional Secretary, HSD, MoHFW; Dr Muhammad Shariful Islam, Line Director (Acting), MNC & AH, DGHS; Dr S.M. Manzoor Ahmed Hanifi, Acting Senior Director, and Dr Mahbub-E-Elahi Khan Chowdhury, Scientist of Health System Population Studies Division (HSPSD) at icddr,b also spoke while many representatives both from the government and private organisations were also present at the meeting.