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icddr,b– its history and legacy

A brief guide to the history of icddr,b.

  • icddr,b is an international health research centre based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • The forerunner of icddr,b was established in 1960 – it was originally known as the South-East Asia Treaty Organisation(SEATO) Cholera Research Laboratory.
  • In the late 1960s, it played a pivotal role in the development of oral rehydration solution (ORS) for the treatment of diarrhoea, which has saved millions of lives worldwide.
  • In 1962, the Cholera Research Laboratory established the Dhaka Hospital, which is still run by icddr,b.
  • In 1966, it established a health and demographic surveillance site at Matlab – now the longest running such site in the global South.
  • The Cholera Research Laboratory was renamed the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh in 1978; in recent years it has simply been known as ‘icddr,b’.
  • In 2001, icddr,b was awarded the first Gates Award for Global Health in recognition of its role in the development of ORS.
  • In 2005, icddr,b received the Independence Day Award, Bangladesh’s most prestigious national award.
  • In 2015, icddr,b published its strategic plan covering the period to 2018, focusing its work on areas of major unmet need. 

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