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The Canadian High Commissioner commends icddr,b and Canada's life-saving partnership

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16 March 2022: On 15 March 2022, the Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh H.E. Dr Lilly Nicholls, paid her first visit to icddr,b in Mohakhali, Dhaka. She was accompanied by Mr Joseph Sebhatu, First Secretary (Development), and Ms Farzana Sultana, Development Advisor, Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh. H.E. Dr Lilly Nicholls was very keen to learn about icddr,b, a world-renowned public health research institution, and its life-saving work. Since 1998, Canada has been providing consistent financial support to both core and project activities of icddr,b.
The visiting team was welcomed by icddr,b's Executive Director, Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, and its senior leadership team. Dr Ahmed presented an institutional overview, its Covid-19 response, and its life-saving research and innovations supported by Canada. 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.
Her Excellency toured icddr,b's Mucosal Immunology and Vaccinology Laboratory. Dr Firdausi Qadri, Acting Senior Director, Infectious Disease Division at icddr,b and a Magsaysay Laureate, briefed her about the work on Cholera vaccine, Typhoid vaccine and the research on the immune response of different Covid-19 vaccines administered in Bangladesh, and of natural infection.
The tour also included icddr,b's Dhaka Hospital at Mohakhali, covering the emergency unit, intensive care unit, and breastfeeding counselling centre. Dr Baharul Alam, Head of Hospitals, and Dr Md Jobayer Chisti, Senior Scientist at icddr,b briefed them about hospital operations and low-cost innovations, including bubble CPAP for treatment of children with severe pneumonia and hypoxemia, and Uddipto – a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) counselling service supported by the Global Affairs Canada.
H.E. Dr Lilly Nicholls was impressed by the volume of public health research and was moved by how easily the research gets translated to low-cost solutions. She commended the incredible partnership between icddr,b and Canada that spans over two decades. She has also lauded the recently commenced work on SRHR, which is a priority for the Canadian government. She said, "It is an honour for me to come here and experience first hand the work that icddr,b does. It is indeed a very inspiring visit. Congratulations to icddr,b for the life-saving research and innovations!"
Dr Ahmed appreciated the high commissioner's interest in visiting the institution. He said, "icddr,b is indeed very grateful to Canada and its people for their extraordinary support, which has enabled us to undertake research that is important not only to Bangladesh but also to low- and middle-income countries across the world." Canada's support also allows us to provide free-of-charge treatment of diarrhoea and malnutrition to 200,000 patients annually in two of our hospitals in Dhaka and Matlab, Chandpur – he added.