“Introductory Meeting of BUHN with DGHS, MoHFW”

“Introductory Meeting of BUHN with DGHS, MoHFW”
“Introductory Meeting of BUHN with DGHS, MoHFW”
“Introductory Meeting of BUHN with DGHS, MoHFW”
“Introductory Meeting of BUHN with DGHS, MoHFW”
“Introductory Meeting of BUHN with DGHS, MoHFW”

The introductory meeting between Bangladesh Urban Health Network (BUHN) with the
Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of the Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare, Government of Bangladesh was successfully held on 28 August 2023 at the New
DGHS Building, Dhaka. Prof. Dr. Ahmedul Kabir, ADG (Planning), DGHS, MoHFW was
the Chair of the introductory meeting, and former Principal Secretary Md. Abul Kalam Azad,
President of EC, BUHN was the Chief Guest. In the meeting, DGHS officials, BUHN EC
members, Secretary Personals of BUHN, along with representatives from Civil Society Organizations were present in the meeting as well.

The DGHS organized this meeting to learn more about BUHN's efforts, activities, long-term
strategic plan, scope of collaboration with the government counterpart, and support alignment
by the DGHS in the network’s activities. In the meeting BUHN introduced the DGHS
representatives to the initial backstory, history, regular activities, AC-EC members, and
strategic plans for future activities of BUHN; along with the scopes of support, collaboration,
active participation, and alignment of activities from the DGHS to the network. In order to
develop a strategic roadmap between the DGHS and BUHN cooperating with DGFP, and
LGRDC for the enhancement of urban health status in Bangladesh, the introductory meeting
took a lot of brainstorming discussions among the participants. The meeting took an
interactive to explore and observe the pathway for effective communication among the urban
health stakeholders and the government of Bangladesh.

Prof. Dr. Ahmedul Kabir, ADG (Planning), DGHS, MoHFW, Chair of the introductory
meeting started the meeting and welcomed the participants from BUHN in the collaborative
venture of DGHS and BUHN to work for the development of urban health status in
Bangladesh and propose more functional public-private health care service initiatives to
reach all segments of the urban population. He put his high expectations in the joint
collaboration between BUHN and DGHS to bring effective changes in the urban health
challenges, issues, and initiatives. He also praised the organizing process of the introductory

meeting with BUHN and promised to mention BUHN to the honorable DG of DGHS, and
respective government agencies for more participatory activities with the Civil Society. The
Chief Guest- former Principal Secretary Md. Abul Kalam Azad, President of EC, BUHN
joined the meeting and provided his valuable speech via Zoom. He expressed his thanks and
appreciation towards DGHS for the invitation to the introductory meeting with BUHN. He
highly emphasized the importance of acting out the initiatives from the joint collaboration of
BUHN and DGHS, rather than only being limited in the meeting phase. As the president of
BUHN, he expressed the network’s active participation in the 5th Sector Program, and related
plans in terms of advocating for urban health initiatives in Bangladesh.

Following the speeches, Dr. Md. Shamim Hayder Talukder, Member Secretary of EC,
BUHN presented an insightful presentation on “Introduction to BUHN” where from the
initial backstory of BUHN, vision- mission, and objectives of BUHN, thematic area of
BUHN, history, milestones of BUHN, AC- EC members of the network, updated activities of
BUHN, and proposed activity plans for 2023-2024 of the network are highlighted in the
presentation. After that presentation, Dr. Lima Rahman (Save the Children), EC Member of
BUHN shared the perspectives of the partnership between BUHN and DGHS. In her speech,
she emphasized the importance of coordinated and comprehensive urban health services in
Bangladesh and she addressed this initiative as a movement to involve the Civil Society with
the Government of Bangladesh. She emphasized the collaborative approach of the BUHN
website for integrated urban health-related data and the partnership of DGHS, MoHFW, and
DGHS in the website of BUHN. She proposed the collaboration of research activities with
DGHS and BUHN members who are active in urban health research. Dr. Maghrib Aref
Jahangir (Health Officer, UNICEF), Technical Support Team Member of BUHN
delivered his speech and moderated the open discussion session with the coordination help of
Dr. Afsana Alamgir Khan, Asstt. Director, DGHS, MoHFW. In his brief speech, he mentioned
the scale of urban healthcare services in proportion to the increasing urban population of
Bangladesh, gaps and challenges regarding public-private sector collaboration, and more
proposed issues have come to the surface to be noted by the network. He assured these
suggestions, proposed activities to be followed up by BUHN, and active participation of
DGHS in upcoming activities.

With an interactive open session, the meeting ended with several decisions to explore the
future pathway of BUHN and DGHS to work on the development of the urban health status of
Bangladesh. DGHS will announce the official statement between BUHN and DGHS in
enhancing the urban health care system, and the status of Bangladesh will be established by
aligning with the BUHN’s regular activities, upcoming initiatives, and long-term plans.

BUHN will put efforts to include Civil Society members, private sector partners, and NGOs
more effectively in the joint venture with DGHS for a better approach to addressing urban
healthcare services and system structure. Representatives from DGHS, DGFP, and LGRDC
will join the BUHN platform to not only observe the network’s activities but also actively
participate in the field of working and coordinating with the respective ministries. DGHS will play a vital role in including BUHN as an active platform with multi-sector stakeholders in
the upcoming Operational Plans for the 5th Sector Program Plans as well.