Bangladesh: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: Raian Amzad/MSH}A client picks up a prescription at a private-sector drug shop in Dhaka, Bangladesh.Photo credit: Raian Amzad/MSH

In Bangladesh, private neighborhood drug sellers are the first point of care for 70% of the population. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the country went into lockdown, the people of Bangladesh depended even more on the safe delivery of products and services from local accredited drug sellers. Despite all odds, they kept their shops open safely.The Better Health Bangladesh project (BHB), funded by the U.K.’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office, has been supporting Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Drug Administration since 2018 to accredit these private-sector drug sellers in 32 districts. MSH, which leads the project, began supporting private drug seller accreditation in Tanzania in 2003. The model has since been adopted in a number of countries in Africa and Asia. The medicine vendors receive assessments and training in pharmaceutical practices, such as accurate dispensing, counselling, and other pharmaceutical services. In the first phase of the project, through December 2020, BHB accredited 2,193 retail medicine shops against a target 2,500 (88%).

MSH will lead a new project to improve the quality and use of maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and family planning (FP) services for young Bangladeshi women and their partners in the underserved urban municipality of Tongi in Gazipur, near Dhaka.

Photo credit: Amany AyubPhoto credit: Amany Ayub

The USAID MTaPS Program is supporting the Government of Bangladesh to manage and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo credit: MSH

The USAID Medicines, Technologies and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program, led by MSH, is working with the Government of Bangladesh and other stakeholders to develop an online reporting system that will strengthen supply chain management for commodities needed to prevent and treat COVID-19 at health facilities.Bangladesh’s COVID-19 objectives are to increase border security to curb the entry of COVID-19 patients, identify cases early, update the country’s laboratory capacity to test for the virus, and prepare the public health system to respond to an outbreak. Following th

This story was originally published on the MTaPS Program website By Dr. Zubayer Hussain, Senior Manager, MTaPS The hospital in Bangladesh does not lack for new equipment. It has a shiny new machine to deliver anesthesia, for one, and a state-of-the-art x-ray machine. There’s one catch: Much of the equipment lies unused.

More than 80% of people in Bangladesh seek care from untrained or poorly trained village doctors and drug shop retailers. Overprescribing, selling unnecessary and expensive brand drugs, and distributing antibiotics and steroids without prescriptions are common problems. At the same time, access to many medicines is low, and antimicrobial resistance is rising.

Unable to work, Rasel worried about how his family would survive while he went through treatment for drug-resistant TB.Photo credit: Challenge TB Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a global hotspot for TB, and the country’s government and its partners are hard at work to find and treat missing cases of TB and prevent the spread of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). The available treatment for MDR-TB is expensive, lengthy, and complex, and the disease is often considered a death sentence.

One of the first patients in Bangladesh to receive the shorter treatment regimen, Billal survived multi-drug resistant TB and returned to his life and his family.Photo credit: Challenge TB Bangladesh

Living with TB is very hard, and living with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) is even worse. The drugs needed to treat DR-TB are not only toxic but also very expensive, and treatment can take as long as two years to complete. In April 2017, with the support of USAID’s Challenge TB (CTB) project, Bangladesh started its first patients on a shorter treatment regimen for DR-TB.

Tuberculosis remains the world’s leading infectious disease killer, claiming 4,500 lives each day. Every year, some 558,000 people will develop a form of TB that is resistant to rifampicin, the most effective first-line drug, making successful treatment of the disease even more difficult and costly.Ending the global epidemic requires a comprehensive approach, rapid innovation and proven interventions, bold leadership, and intensive community engagement.MSH works with local partners to develop health systems solutions that meet the needs of communities affected by TB.

On May 21, during the 71st World Health Assembly, member states adopted a new digital health resolution. It urges member states to better utilize digital technologies as a means of promoting equitable, affordable universal health coverage (UHC), including reaching vulnerable populations. The resolution also calls on members to analyze the implications of digital health to achieve health related sustainable development goals.

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