UK Minister Penny Mordaunt visits icddr,b, lauds life-saving partnership

Dhaka, 20 February 2019 - The Right Honourable Penny Mordaunt, MP, Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women and Equalities of the United Kingdom, visited icddr,b on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 and appreciated her country’s decades long partnership with the institute in saving lives.

She was accompanied by a high-level delegation joined by H.E. Alison Blake, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Jim McAlpine, Head of DFID Bangladesh, and a DFID delegation team.

The delegation toured icddr,b's Dhaka Hospital at Mohakhali, covering the intensive care unit and laboratories, short-stay ward, breastfeeding counselling room, immunisation room and nutrition rehabilitation unit, and commended icddr,b’s free-of-charge care to hundreds and thousands of people.

Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, Senior Director, Nutrition and Clinical Services at icddr,b, presented an overview of the UK-icddr,b’s endeavours and partnership. The delegation was also briefed on icddr,b’s recent life saving innovations such as the low-cost Bubble CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device used for the treatment of severe pneumonia and hypoxemia among children. They were also briefed about icddr,b’s recent humanitarian efforts in Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Rohingya crisis in Cox’s Bazar.

During the visit Minister Mordaunt lauded icddr,b’s work and said, “The partnership between icddr,b and DFID is very special and we are proud to provide UK aid support for research, innovations and capacity building so they can continue saving thousands of lives annually.” “icddr,b’s expertise is also saving lives in crises around the world and I was really impressed by the staff I met, and new ideas and research I saw during my visit.”

UK aid is one of the core donors to icddr,b and has been supporting icddr,b’s work since 1975. It helped revitalise icddr,b’s research operations which was disrupted by Bangladesh’s liberation war of 1971. It has provided 36 million British pounds in core funding to date. This includes 12 million pounds in current core funding through 2021.

The visiting delegation also met with the organisation’s senior leadership and leading scientists.