BSMMU, BMJ and icddr,b sign MoU for strengthening clinical research in Bangladesh

Dhaka, 29 August 2017 - Today, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and icddr,b signed a memorandum of understanding in order to form an institutional platform and collaborate research initiative of clinical science across various health disciplines, including non communicable diseases. The event took place at the Vice Chancellor’s Conference Room of BSMMU and were attended by participants form the partner organisations.

Collaboration between BSMMU (the first and only medical university in Bangladesh), the BMJ (one of the oldest high impact medical journal) and icddr,b (one of the leading public health research institute and the winner of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize 2017) will stress on reducing knowledge gap and strengthening capacities for conducting scientific research by the clinicians of the national institutions of the country. This collaboration will also help in creating next generation researchers to tackle unforeseen public health challenges of the next century.

Specific scopes of the agreement include provide facilities and share of knowledge and experience, help conduct clinical research training, organise workshops and scientific seminars and help prepare research protocols and conduct scientific research. It also covers help to write research grant and raise research funding, and finally help to publish and circulate papers, periodicals, books, publications and other literary works.

On the occasion, Professor Kamrul Khan, Vice Chancellor, BSMMU said, “I strongly feel the requirement of a critical mass of local scientists and health research professionals to collaborate in clinical research to address the rising burden of NCDs and other emerging health issues. I believe the proposed clinical research platform will create a golden opportunity for producing a pool of local scientists, clinicians and educationists to conduct independent research appropriate to health priorities in Bangladesh.”

Professor John D. Clemens, Executive Director of icddr,b commented on the partnership efforts,  “icddr,b has many pioneering collaborative research initiatives; discovery of ORS is a good example of the outcome of successful collaboration. In any resource poor setting like Bangladesh, scientific collaboration will further strengthen generations of research evidence, translating research into policy and practice, and will eventually save more lives.”

While addressing the event participants, Syed Monjurul Islam, Deputy Executive Director of icddr,b said, “Today icddr,b’s research scope is not limited to diarrhoeal diseases, but has expanded to addressing some of the most critical health concerns facing the world; ranging from diarrhoeal disease surveillance to clinical trials in hypertension and diabetes.  I believe the proposed clinical research platform will enhance the interactions between researchers and clinicians, and develop innovative ideas for combating future health challenges in Bangladesh.”

The BMJ’s Managing Director-India & South Asia Mr Prashant Mishra highlighted his optimism "We believe we'll be able to create value in terms of medical research output from Bangladesh. Our vision is to create a healthier world and this tri party initiative that includes BSMMU, ICDDR & BMJ, shall help us accomplish it. BMJ's The Research to Publication programme is part of The BMJ's commitment to building medical research capabilities around the world. Created in collaboration with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), the programme launched in early 2016".

Dr. Aliya Naheed, Head Initiative for Non Communicable Diseases, icddr,b said, “Scientific discoveries and evaluations are essential for identifying better treatment regimens for battling against the increasingly challenging health issues, and translation of that research into action is imperative for saving more human lives. Besides generating local evidence, Bangladesh urgently needs to develop and further strengthen its human resource capacity in controlling and effectively addressing the impending threat of chronic diseases focusing on both therapeutic and prevention strategies. The BMJ have played a big role in establishing evidence of better therapeutic or preventive care for a broader dissemination of research benefit. Through this partnership icddr,b will be able to help strengthen local capacity for conducting clinical trials.”

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