The U.S. Ambassador H. E. Earl R. Miller visits icddr,b

Dhaka, 11 March 2019 - Today, The U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh H.E. Earl R. Miller paid his first visit to icddr,b to learn about the world–renowned institution and its role in the Rohingya crisis. Ambassador Miller, accompanied by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Country Director Dr Michael S Friedman, and USAID Mission Deputy Director Ms Ariella Camera, met with senior scientists and divisional directors at icddr,b.

During Ambassador Miller’s visit, Prof John D Clemens, Executive Director at icddr,b presented an overview of the institution.  He explained how icddr,b undertakes basic and implementation research and knowledge translation to solve major public health problems facing low- and middle-income countries in the world, and has became a life-saving centre of excellence.

Ambassador Miller was impressed by the unprecedented pre-emptive measure taken by icddr,b and partners in administering more than 2.2 million doses of oral cholera vaccine in the Rohingya exiles stranded in Bangladesh from Myanmar . The initiative has successfully prevented a cholera outbreak that many public health experts predicted.

Ambassador Miller and his accompanies toured icddr,b's mucosal immunology and vaccinology laboratory. Dr Firdausi Qadri, Senior Scientist briefed him regarding the contribution of this libratory in low cost vaccine development. The tour also included 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.

Another aspect of Ambassador Miller’s visit was to explore ways for further U.S. government collaboration to strengthen health priorities and challenges of Bangladesh and other low- and middle-income countries in the world. Ambassador Miller emphasized that a strong U.S.-icddr,b relationship has proved to be very meaningful and rewarding in terms of saving lives through scaling up of low cost, simple to use innovations. He said, “I look forward to work closely with icddr,b and CDC to ensure that our partnership is strengthened even further.”   

icddr,b. Professor Clemens appreciated his interest in visiting the institution so soon after his appointment . He said, “icddr,b is very fortunate to have had US support throughout its journey of more than 50 years as a leading global health research institute. US donors comprised of government agencies, foundations and commercial organisations have contributed more than $300 million to icddr,b since 1995.” He adds: “We welcome Ambassador Miller’s initiative to strengthen the collaboration between U.S. to achieve a shared goal of delivering impacts.”

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