United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Derrick S Brown visited Sylhet from October 4-6 to observe key USAID activities complementing the government's Covid-19 response efforts.
Along with that, he also launched USAID's flagship tuberculosis (TB) activity "Alliance for Combating Tuberculosis in Bangladesh" (ACTB) in Sylhet as part of the United States' commitment to end TB globally, according to a press release.
"It's an honor to meet dedicated doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, and other health workers, and learn how they continue to tirelessly serve people. I feel proud USAID is helping to build the capacity of health workers and improve delivery of health services," mission director Brown said during his visit.
The director also met with government officials, frontline health care providers and program participants. He met with 20 doctors and nurses who participated in USAID-supported training on infection control and case management to effectively respond to the Covid-19 pandemic at the 100-bed Narsingdi District Hospital.
They represent a handful of the 20,000 doctors and nurses, across Bangladesh, who received Covid-19 related training made possible through funding or assistance from USAID.
Brown along with Prof Dr Md Shamiul Islam, line director of the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP), visited the Tuberculosis Screening and Treatment Center (TB STC) to observe ongoing TB services amid the coronavirus outbreak in Sylhet Sadar. Due to the Covid-19 situation, there has been a decrease in the reporting of TB cases across the country. USAID's ACTB activity works closely with both formal and informal private service providers to refer suspected TB cases to the TB STC.
He visited the Regional TB reference laboratory (RTRL) in Sylhet, the first and only containerized Biosafety level -3 laboratory for TB in Bangladesh planned, built, and installed with US government assistance, through USAID, and transferred to the Bangladesh government in August 2018.
At the Smiling Sun Clinic in Moulvibazar USAID's Advancing Universal Health Coverage (AUHC) activity, Mission Director Brown observed how essential health services continue to be provided during the ongoing pandemic.
The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $8 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since its independence. In 2019, USAID alone provided over $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programs that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change.