Experts for public and private partnership to combat tuberculosis

BSS || Shining BD

Published: 6/5/2024 7:21:35 AM

Health experts called for building partnership between public and private sector to combat tuberculosis (TB) in the country. 

It is very crucial to engage private sector with the initiatives taken by the government to fight against the tuberculosis, they told an event titled "Strengthening TB Public-Private Mix for Enhanced Policy Advocacy and Private Sector Engagement" at the ICDDR,B at Mohakhali in the city, a press release of ICDDR,B said. 

ICDDR,B, in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP) and The Stop TB Partnership, hosted the event aiming to enhance policy advocacy and engage the private sector in Bangladesh's national effort to combat tuberculosis (TB).

Deputy Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad Md. Shamsul Hoque Tuku, MP addressed the programme as the chief guest. 

In his speech, he said, "The fight against diseases like tuberculosis requires social movements. In this social movement, the role of government, private institutions, and health organisations is very important."

The 'Parliamentary TB Caucus' has already been formed by members of the Bangladesh National Parliament, Tuku said adding, "This parliamentary platform is committed to bringing forward the relevant issues to fight TB at the highest levels of government. I believe that through the united cooperation of all, we will defeat TB."

The Public-Private Mix (PPM) is essential in harnessing the strengths of both sectors to increase TB diagnosis and treatment coverage in Bangladesh, the press release said adding, by involving private healthcare providers, more people can be reached with timely and effective TB care.

ICDDR,B Executive Director Dr Tahmeed Ahmed highlighted ICDDR,B's pivotal role in TB research in Bangladesh and its contributions to informing and shaping national policies and guidelines that have driven progress in TB control in the country.

He said, "The extent of tuberculosis in Bangladesh cannot be addressed by the government alone. The private sector also needs to come forward and collaborate through public-private partnerships." 

One example is the network established by ICDDR,B, which includes public and private doctors and pharmacy owners, Dr Tahmeed said adding through this network, patients suffering from a chronic cough are referred to TB centres run by ICDDR,B, where TB diagnosis is done rapidly using state-of-the-art GeneXpert technology."

An audio-visual presentation titled "Journey to Cure: Private Sector Involvement in Battling Tuberculosis in Bangladesh" showcased the critical role of private sector engagement in combating TB, illustrating successful collaborations and their impacts on TB control efforts, the press release added. 

In a plenary session, TB PPM stakeholders discussed the collective responsibility of public and private partners in combating TB, sharing best practices, and identifying actionable steps to strengthen PPM initiatives.

Dr Md. Mahafuzer Rahman Sarker, Line Director, TB-L & ASP, emphasised the importance of sustained collaboration between public and private sectors to achieve national End TB goals. 

Miranda Beckman, Deputy Office Director, OPHN, USAID Bangladesh, highlighted USAID's commitment to supporting Bangladesh's TB control efforts and the need for innovative approaches to engage the private sector.

Prof. Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, ADG (Planning and Development), DGHS, underscored the strategic importance of policy advocacy and the integration of private sector initiatives into national TB programmes. 

Shining BD