A group of thirty researchers and scientists from icddr,b made a considerable impact at the Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) held in Beijing, China where they highlighted an array of research findings and experiences gained on various aspects of universal health coverage (UHC) to an international audience. Several icddr,b researchers presented their papers during the thematic plenary sessions while more than a dozen researchers made poster presentations. Of the 500 poster presentations displayed during the symposium, a poster from icddr,b was selected as one out of the nine winners. Hosted by Peking University Health Science Center from 31 October to 4 November 2012, the three main themes of the symposium were (1) state-of-the-art research; (2) measures and methods; and (3) knowledge translation. The symposium was co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, BRAC University, TDR (the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases)
Winning poster on assessing immunisation interventions
icddr,b’s winning poster, titled Improving Low Child Immunization Coverage in Rural Hard-to-Reach Areas of Bangladesh: Impact of Package of Interventions, presented impacts of a collaborative study by icddr,b and Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh. The study assessed the impact of combined interventions to improve child immunization coverage in hard-to-reach rural areas like the low wetland areas of Sylhet and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh between June 2008 to May 2010. The strategies were tested and evaluated in rural hard-to-reach wetland and hilly upazilas, selected based on the lowest EPI coverage rates. The findings showed significant improvements in child immunisation rates in the study areas could occur if a specific package of interventions were implemented. This package included (a) modified EPI service schedules, (b) EPI support groups, (c) use of a screening tool in health centres other than EPI spots, (d) training of service providers on valid doses, and (e) eliminating official barriers.
To view the poster in full please click here.
UHC as a mechanism for equitable access to healthcare
The Beijing symposium provided a valuable opportunity for icddr,b’s scientific community to share a common platform with international researchers, policy-makers, funders, implementers, civil society, media representatives and other stakeholders to share new evidence, identify opportunities and gaps, build better understanding of inter disciplinary boundaries, and to discuss the way ahead to support health systems research the use of evidence in decision-making in low- and middle-income countries.
UHC has been recommended by international bodies such as the World Health Organization and has been adopted by a number of low and middle-income countries as a strong mechanism for facilitating quality comprehensive healthcare for all people at an affordable cost. To achieve UHC in Bangladesh, it is important to develop a common understanding and at icddr,b a wide range of disciplines are being applied in the discussion on how universal health coverage can become a reality for the people of Bangladesh, as well as similar developing countries around the world.
For details contact Nasmeen Ahmed