The multi-sectoral civic platform Healthy Bangladesh and research activist centre Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to 3,000 cleaners of 16 municipalities and one city corporation in Bangladesh.
On Sunday, PPEs were distributed among cleaners in Sylhet City Corporation (SCC), reads a PPRC press release.
The move comes under the banner of "The Clean Cities" initiative taken by the Healthy Bangladesh. The initiative was launched at Moulvibazar municipality on June 25.
Convener of Healthy Bangladesh Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman inaugurated the programme in the ninth and last virtual session while Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh attended the event as a special guest.
Dr Hossain Zillur urged the city mayor and its cleaners to lead the efforts towards achieving a hygienic Bangladesh by ensuring cleanliness of their respective towns.
"Covid-19 has thrust hygiene at the forefront of the health agenda. Municipal cleaners are an under-recognised frontline workforce in this essential public response. Keeping our cities clean is key to ensuring a hygienic Bangladesh," Dr Rahman said at the event.
UNDP Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee said while the coronavirus pandemic has affected life for nearly everyone, frontline workers, including the municipal cleaners, are fearlessly working to protect us and provide us with essential services.
Sylhet City mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury reiterated his commitment to this goal and appreciated the support of the Healthy Bangladesh, PPRC and UNDP. He also expressed the hope of further developing this partnership.
The initiative to provide PPE has been implemented at Pabna, Bogura, Chapainawabganj, Dhamrai, Jhenaidah, Khagrachari, Kushtia, Manikganj, Mongla Port, Moulvibazar, Nilphamari, Noakhali, Patuakhali, Panchagarh, Shariatpur and Satkhira municipalities and Sylhet City Corporation.
AF Hasan Arif, former attorney general, AMM Nasir Uddin, former health secretary, Major General Golam Quader, Former Caretaker Government Adviser, Dr MA Fayez, Former Director General, Directorate General of Health Services, and Ashekur Rahman, head of Poverty and Urbanisation, UNDP Bangladesh, Dr Nasim Ahmed, President of the Private Doctor Owners Association Sylhet, Dr Humayun Kabir Chowdhury, professor of Department of Surgery, BIRDEM, Dr AKM Fazlur Rahman, executive director of CIPRB were, among others, present at the virtual meeting.