28 April 2010, Dhaka. BRAC and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) have jointly organised a special meeting titled, “Mothers and Babies Speak: Moving Forward with Lessons on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH)” on April 28, 2010 at BRAC Centre, Dhaka from 10:00am-12:00pm. The PMCNH is a global alliance of over 300 members committed to achieve MDGs 4 and 5.
(From Left) State minister of Women and Children Affairs Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Prof. Dr. A.F.M Ruhal Haque, Acting Vice President of Human Development Network of the World Bank Dr. Julian Schweitzer
This meeting was specifically convened to review the key developments in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 in Bangladesh, discuss the role and contribution of public-private partnership and take lessons of Bangladesh to the upcoming MDG Summit in New York in September.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, welcomed the international and national participants drawing attention to commitments in terms of financial, physical and technical investments to MDGs 4 and 5, particularly, maternal health. Sir Fazle inaugurated the meeting with a video message from Sarah Brown, the First Lady of United Kingdom and Co-Chair, Maternal and Child Health Leadership Group. In the video message, Mrs. Sarah Brown accentuated the role of global leaders to maternal mortality campaign. She continued to express her gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her role in Bangladesh for the improvement of maternal, newborn and child health and also highlighted BRAC’s contribution, particularly, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed to this arena in Bangladesh and beyond.
Prof Dr. Shahidullah, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSSMU) reviewed the state of maternal, neonatal and child health in Bangladesh emphasising successes, challenges and gaps in health sectors. He said that Bangladesh is on track for MDG 4, but not for MDG 5 and hence, it is crucial to address challenges and gaps in order to improve the situation. Dr. Kaosar Afsana, Associate Director, BRAC Health Programme discussed about the critical role of public-private partnership in achieving MDGs 4 and 5. In this context, she stated that BRAC has created significant improvement in maternal and neonatal health in urban slums and rural districts of Bangladesh. Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor and Head of Access to Information Programme of Prime Minister’s Office, drew attention to the role of ICT and e-health in digitalizing Bangladesh and how private sector collaborations are contributing to achieving health MDGs.
Prof. Dr. A.F.M Ruhal Haque, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare participated in the event as the Chief Guest and stressed that the upcoming G8 and MDG review would mobilise financial investments in maternal health and child health.
Dr. Julian Schweitzer, Chair, the PMNCH and Acting Vice President, Human Development Network of the World Bank, and Dr Flavia Bustreo, Director, the PMNCH attended the meeting as the Special Guests. Distinguished Members of the Parliamentarians, Board Members of the PMNCH, Director General Health Services and UN agencies and development partners, civil society members, development practitioners and researchers were present in this special event.
This meeting was convened as the inaugural event for the Board meeting of the PMNCH to be hosted by BRAC during April 28 – 30 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.