GSK & CARE expand CHW initiative
09 Septembar 2015, Nirapad News: GSK and CARE Bangladesh in partnership with Ministry of Health & Family Welfare announced the expansion of their Community Health Workers’ initiative in the broader Sunamganj district.
The project which till now covered 10 upazillas will now be expanded to a further 11 upazillas and will bring the whole of Sunamganj district under the initiative.
Under the expansion, the program will create a total of 300 Private Community Skilled Birth Attendants, 3700 Community Health Workers reaching out to 2.5 million people.
The project is part of GSK’s 20% profit reinvestment initiative , under which GSK re-invests 20% of profits generated from its pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare businesses to build its local profit to support building of health infrastructure in the most underserved areas through innovative partnerships between government, the private and NGO sectors.
The inaugural ceremony of the expansion of CARE-GSK Community Health Worker Initiative was held on September 9th at Circuit House hall room in Sunamganj. The key stakeholders of the initiative came together to reflect upon the project’s journey till date, discuss challenges of mutual interest and talk about what project needs to accomplish in the coming years.
Joint Secretary of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Dr. Shajedul Hasan was the Chief Guest at the ceremony. Ramil Burden, Vice President – Developing countries Asia and External Affairs Africa, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Laurie Lee, CEO, CARE International UK, Sk. Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Sunamganj and Md. Mozammel Haque, Deputy Director-Family Planning joined as special guests.
Dr. Md. Abdul Hakim, Civil Surgeon of Sunamganj district chaired the event.
In the opening address, Dr. Jahangir Hossair, Director of Health Unit, CARE Bangladesh thanked the government and local government representatives for their wholehearted and unreserved commitment to the project. The Joint Secretary, Dr. Shajedul Hasan remarked that in order to reduce the health workforce gap, we require means to make better use of the existing human resources, therefore, we are in great need of a project like Community Health Worker Initiative. It adopts an innovative approach and has the potential to be replicated across the country.
Speaking at the Inaugural ceremony Ramil Burden , Vice President of Developing Countries Asia and External Affairs at GSK thanked the Ministry of Health for their continuous support and CARE for the successful implementation of the initiative, which has taken this program to a height where now it’s in a stage that it’s been expanded all over Sunamganj. He also said that, at GSK we are committed to improving access to healthcare and contributing to long term growth and this could be possible only through innovative Public-private partnerships like this one.
Laurie Lee, CEO CARE International UK, said that it has been a successful partnership with GSK in the last three years. The nature of this partnership with GSK and local partners, such as Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has allowed a sustainable and highly effective extension of healthcare services to the most marginalized communities of Sunamganj. CARE looks forward working together with GSK and MOHFW in the next three years on building a viable and replicable model that allows for a more holistic approach to addressing geographical and wealth disparities.
Special guest of the event Sk. Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Sunamganj thanked GSK for expanding the initiative and CARE Bangladesh for facilitating the project activities by reinforcing the community support system and engaging with the local government. In the closing remark, Dr. Md. Abdul Hakim, Civil Surgeon of Sunamganj pointed out that this initiative will help to enhance and improve existing health systems and programs. He also noted, all partners need to be instrumental in their own ways in fulfilling the objectives of this initiative and this event is the beginning of stakeholders’ concerted efforts.
As a part of GSK’s reinvestment of 20% of its profits, the Community Health Worker initiative sets a new milestone in maternal and child health outcome of the poor, underserved and remotest communities of Sunamganj district through developing skilled birth attendants and mobilizing community engagement. In partnership with CARE International in Bangladesh the initiative has been being implemented to address the shortage of health workforce issues since December, 2012. The goal is to make consistent, good quality and sustainable maternal, newborn and child healthcare services available to the 1.4 million people living in Sunamganj district.