September 2021 | Issue 3

BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) NEWSLETTER

BRAC JPGSPH was founded in 2004 in Dhaka, Bangladesh to address the unmet public health challenges particular to Asia, Africa and South America. The School ensures premier higher education with unparalleled real-life teaching and learning focuses on pressing and emerging national and global public health challenges.

The School envisions being the leading global public health institute for the world's pressing health challenges affecting disadvantaged communities. The School builds capacity and contributes to Public Health by creating innovative public health leaders and solutions through cutting-edge, experiential Education, Training, Research and Advocacy. The aim is to enable public health leaders, practitioners, critical thinkers, researchers, advocates, and stewards in order to enable concrete changes to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations locally, regionally and internationally.

This newsletter covers activities from July - September 2021

Key Highlights from January to September 2021


17th Master of Public Health Cohort:
International and 24 National Students

Developing Midwives Project (DMP):
Midwives Successfully Graduated in 2021


21 Skills Building Seminars and Workshops

370+ Professionals Trained


22 Multi-Country Research Projects

66 Peer-Reviewed Publications and 3 Book Chapters Published


104+ Active Engagements with Stakeholders to Influence Programmes and Policies

61 News Articles and 9 Blogs.


3-D Commission Regional Launch: Asia

BRAC JPGSPH, joins the Rockefeller Foundation funded global alliance called 3-D Commission, as a dissemination partner. Professor Sabina Faiz Rashid, Dean of BRAC JPGSPH and member of 3-D Commision Global Board; spoke at the ‘3-D Commission Regional Launch: Asia’ event as a panellist.

Date: 29 September 2021


My Reflections as a Student at BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH)

"The one year at BRAC JPGSPH not only educated me but also transformed me. All the courses were designed based on the principles of experiential learning.", says Taufique Joarder, International Consultant, Health Workforce, World Health Organization; MPH 4th Cohort, BRAC JPGSPH.

Published: 29 July 2021 in The Daily Star

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Stop Diabetic Retinopathy Before it Starts

BRAC JPGSPH, in collaboration with The Fred Hollows Foundation in Australia, Diabetic Association of Bangladesh and BIRDEM Hospital, will be developing and validating a simple, questionnaire-based risk stratification tool for diabetic retinopathy screening—the first of its kind in Bangladesh.

Published: 3 August 2021 in The Daily Star

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Learning in Lockdown

BRAC JPGSPH has conducted a small-scale qualitative study aiming to understand the perceptions of the Rohingya community…..

Published: 25 August 2021 in Dhaka Tribune

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Food Systems: Seven Priorities to end Hunger and Protect the Planet

Professor Kaosar Afsana from BRAC JPGSPH and Vice Chair for the Scientific Group, UN Food Systems Summit 2021, contributes alongside other members on how the United Nation should harness science and technology to improve nutrition and safeguard the environment.

Published: 30 August 2021 in Nature 597, 28-30 (2021);

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BRACU Launches 'Mushtaque Chowdhury Chair in Health and Poverty'

"I am looking forward to carrying on research in the areas of health, poverty, and other related issues where Dr Chowdhury has a long and distinguished career." - Dr Atonu Rabbani, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka.

Published: 7 September 2021 in The Business Standard

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Professor Malabika Sarker Appointed Chair of the Advisory Board of WHO’s Human Reproduction Programme (HRP) Alliance for Research Capacity Strengthening (RCS)

Professor Malabika Sarker, Associate Dean and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Science of Implementation and Scale-Up (CoE-SISU), Former Director of Research, BRAC JPGSPH; has been appointed as the Chair of the Advisory Board of the HRP Alliance for Research Capacity Strengthening (RCS) of World Health Organization (WHO).

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The Master of Public Health (MPH) Programme at BRAC JPGSPH is a one-year full-time programme that offers transformative public health learning to develop next-generation public health leaders for 21st century public health challenges. The locus of the MPH programme is its experiential community immersive teaching through rigorous urban and rural fieldwork. Since its inception in 2005, there have been over 562 MPH graduates from 34 countries.

MPH Scholarship Opportunities

Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) Scholarships

For applicants based on academic merit and public health experience in neglected tropical disease from low-and-middle income countries in WHO Southeast Asia and Western Pacific Regions.

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Scholarships

For national applicants only.

Amena Azfar & Hurmatunnessa Rob Scholarship

For meritorious and socio-economically disadvantaged national female applicants only.

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17th MPH Cohort Online Class of 2021

13 Different countries around the world

19 International and 24 National Students

8 Modules Completed Online from July-September 2021

  • MPH 530: Health Systems Management
  • MPH 691: Monitoring and Evaluation of PH Programmes
  • Introduction to Implementation Research (Non-Credited)
  • MPH 670: Public Health Nutrition
  • MPH 690: Principles of Health Communication
  • MPH 660: Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
  • MPH 620: Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  • MPH 681: Ageing, Non-Communicable Diseases and Health


“Year after year the BRAC JPGSPH MPH student body is characterised by remarkable academic, professional and cultural diversity. This diversity supports a dynamic learning community. The interactive class sessions leverage the student’s diversity to connect the latest public health knowledge, ideas and methods to the situations the graduates will face as public health professionals.”


Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Associate Dean for Global Health Research, Stanford University, USA and Adjunct Faculty, BRAC JPGSPH

"This new responsibility as a Coordinator for the MPH Programme comes with its own share of challenges. I look forward to giving my best to make our MPH Programme more inclusive and hope my efforts will be reflected not only through the MPH Programme but its students as well."

Farhana Alam

Assistant Director, Centre of Excellence for Gender and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (CGSRHR), BRAC JPGSPH appointed as the Coordinator for the MPH Programme

“I learned extensively from BRAC JPGSPH. There was fieldwork related to Malaria, HIV and other infectious diseases. We learned a lot through these experiential and community-based learning methods. BRAC JPGSPH taught me to deal with real-world health hazards and also with people of different communities”

Ayushka Parajuli

BRAC JPGSPH 14th MPH Cohort, Nepal
Researcher, Health Research and Social Development Forum (HERD)

“After completing my MPH from BRAC JPGSPH, I did not feel like a fresh graduate. I felt like an experienced public health practitioner. The global classroom of the School is ideal for cultural exchange which helps public health practitioners to feel at home no matter where in the world they are. Also, the elaborate first-hand experience that I received from BRAC JPGSPH, through fieldwork, is invaluable”

Wagdi Ali Mohammed Mohsen

BRAC JPGSPH 14th MPH Cohort, Yemen
Reproductive Health Coordinator, UNFPA

BRAC JPGSPH featured as One of the Top Six Public Health Schools in the region by World Health Organization in 2007

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In 2020 the School was featured by Johns Hopkins University's newsletter as one of the Top Schools in the Region

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Transformative Competency-based Public Health Education for Professional Employability in Bangladesh’s Health Sector

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Graduates from 34 Countries Since 2005


Experiential Urban and Rural Field Sites in 13 Districts in 2019


International Visiting Faculty


National Faculty and Practitioners

BRAC JPGSPH, BRAC University introduced the Diploma in Midwifery side by side with the Government in 2012. This innovative educational initiative, which is co-funded by the UK government and BRAC, is the first of its kind in the private sector of Bangladesh. The 6th and 7th batches of DMP have continued studying from their residence, through virtual platforms. On an average, 79% and 99% students attended live and recorded classes respectively. The education team has also continued preparatory studies for both internal and first year final public examination on 13 modules for 7th batch students. In March 2021, students of the 7th batch sat for the public exam of Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council (BNMC). The faculty took online exams for preparation purposes. As of 12 September 2021, all 7 Academic Sites have resumed operations.

393 Students from 6th and 7th batches of the Midwifery programme are continuing with their studies

231 Midwives successfully graduated in 2021

BRAC Managed Vaccine Administration in Nine Centres of Dhaka, with the help of Midwives from BRAC JPGSPH.

Published: 7 August 2021 in Dhaka Tribune

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BRAC JPGSPH's Midwifery Course sees 100% Pass Rate in License Exam

Published: 13 September 2021 in Dhaka Tribune

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DMP Activity Update July-September 2021


Students Enrolled in the Midwifery Programme since inception


Graduates in Midwifery Professions since inception


Students received Financial Aid to attend Midwifery Education


Midwives are serving at the Rohingya Refugee Camps in Cox’s Bazar

The School’s international training hub established in 2007, Centre for Professional Skills Development in Public Health (CPSD) strengthens and upgrades the requisite professional skills utilised by practitioners, policymakers, development partners, government officials, public advocates, faculty, researchers and frontline health workers.

11 Skills building training and workshops conducted within July-September 2021


CPSD, BRAC JPGSPH awarded grant from WaterAid.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed towards the establishment of the first-ever Hygiene Behaviour Change (HBC) - Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Bangladesh. The HBC-CoE will provide priority training to sector professionals Technical Management Skills and Soft Skills essential to facilitating community-based behaviour change actions and hygiene best-practices to promote sustainable community health and well-being.

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Skills Building Training and Workshops from July-September 2021

Health Hygiene and COVID-19 Awareness

Date: 17-18 August 2021

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Online Coding Session on Antimicrobial Resistance in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Singapore

Date: 18 August 2021

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Skills Development and Digital Care Coordination for Improved Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)

Date: 22-31 August 2021

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Skills Development of Young People with Disabilities as Peer Researchers

Date : 1-3 September 2021

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Online Short Course- Responding to the Pandemic: Voice, Equity and Governance

Date: 14 September-2 October 2021

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The Synthesis and Translation of Research and Innovations from Polio Eradication

Date: 15 September 2021

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Centre for Professional Skills Development (CPSD) aims to provide

  • Practical skill based training to address relevant public health priorities and needs
  • Codesign critical competencies for professional trainings to ensure relevant capabilities are developed
  • Interactive teaching and learning
  • Innovative tools for in-person, field-based and online learning
  • Participant centred learning to promote critical thinking
  • Immersive learning by visits to field sites rural urban communities, health facilities (public, NGOs, private) and organisations (public, NGOs, private)
  • Diverse expert facilitators: practitioners, policy makers and multi sectoral actors (i.e., government, NGOs, INGOs, civil society, private sector)
  • Solution oriented thinking to address practical ‘Real World’ challenges

Skills Building Seminars and Workshops since inception


Global Facilitators since inception


Professionals Trained since inception

The School's Five Centres of Excellence and a Humanitarian Research Hub (2018) aim to investigate pressing and emerging public health issues to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged populations.

22 Multi-Country Research Projects from January-September 2021

12 Multi-Country Research Projects from July-September 2021

Recent Research Highlights

Piloting of a Population-Based Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Registry in Bangladesh

The Centre for Non-communicable Diseases and Nutrition (CNCDN), BRAC JPGSPH, has started a population-based NCD registry in the Parbatipur sub-district of Dinajpur.

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Million Cool Roofs Challenge

A cool roof technology aiming to provide thermal comfort for the low-income communities of Bangladesh was implemented and tested. The intervention is expected to transmit less heat inside the structure underneath 74,108 square feet was painted within the project period July 2021.

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Inception meeting held for British Academy Youth Futures Research in Bangladesh project

Centre of Excellence for Science of Implementation and Scale-Up (CoE-SISU), in collaboration with Sightsavers, organised an inception meeting on 31 September 2021.

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Bridging Communities in Cox’s Bazar: Mitigating Risks and Promoting Gender, Governance, and Localization of Humanitarian Responses in COVID-19 Era

BRAC JPGSPH has submitted the phase-1 research report to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in their online portal in August 2021. The report has been approved by the IDRC.

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Disrupting Cross Border Trafficking in Jessore, Bangladesh

Several guidelines and observation checklists for collecting qualitative data were developed and finalised for the operational research. Data collection plan for the operational research was developed and shared with BRAC.

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Pathways to Equitable Healthy Cities

The Pathway, Dhaka team has presented their research findings on Dhaka’s waste management, policy governance, inequality and poverty estimates for small areas, and ambient lighting at the International Conference on Urban Health (ICUH), 2021, in four sessions held on 6-8 July 2021.

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66 Peer-Reviewed Publications, including 3 Book Chapters within January-September 2021

23 Peer-Reviewed Publications, including 1 International Book Chapter within July-September 2021

Peer-Reviewed Publications Highlights

Dhaka Landfill Waste Practices: Addressing Urban Pollution and Health Hazards

Authors: Salma Akter Urme, Marzuka Ahmad Radia, Rafiul Alam, Mohammed Uzzal Chowdhury, Shahriar Hasan, Shakil Ahmed, Hasna Hena Sara, Mohammed Syful Islam, Delufa Tuz Jerin, Prianka Sultana Hema, Monybur Rahman, A.K.M. Mazharul Islam, Mohammed Tanvir Hasan, Zahidul Quayyum

Published: 28 July 2021 in Buildings and Cities, 2(1), pp. 700–716.

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Incentivising Doctor Attendance in Rural Bangladesh: A Latent Class Analysis of a Discrete Choice Experiment

Authors: Blake Angell, Mushtaq Khan, Raihanul Islam, Kate Mandeville, Nahitun Naher, Eleanor Hutchinson, Martin McKee, Syed Masud Ahmed, Dina Balabanova

Published: 29 July 2021 in BMJ Global Health Volume 6, Issue 7

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Health Sufferings, Healthcare Seeking Behavior, Awareness about Health Insurance, and Health Related Rights of Ready Made Garments Workers in Bangladesh: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Md Tanvir Hasan, Amina Amin, Md Uzzal Chowdhury, Kuhel Faizul Islam, Sk Mojibul Huq, Rezvina Parvin, S. Jobayear Ahmed, Md Liakath Ali, Sabina Faiz Rashid

Published: 11 August 2021 in The Journal of Occupational Health; Volume 63, Issue1

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Association between Television Viewing and Overweight and Obesity among Women of Reproductive Age in Timor-Leste: Evidence from the Demographic Health Survey 2016

Authors: Animesh Talukder, Rajat Das Gupta, Mohammad Rashidul Hashan, Shams Shabab Haider, Ibrahim Hossain Sajal, and Malabika Sarker

Published: 11 August 2021 in BMJ Open Volume 11, Issue 8

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Worldwide Trends in Hypertension Prevalence and Progress in Treatment and Control from 1990 to 2019: A Pooled Analysis of 1201 Population-Representative Studies with 104 million participants

Authors: NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) [Kaosar Afsana, Abu A Mohammad Hanif, and Malay K Mridha from BRAC JPGSPH]

Published: 24 August 2021 in The Lancet. 2021 Aug 24;S0140-6736(21)01330-1

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'Scarcity and Resilience in the Slums of Dhaka city, Bangladesh'

Authors: Sabina Faiz Rashid, Selima Kabir, Kim Ozano, Sally Theobald, Bachera Aktar and Aisha Siddika

Published: 20 September 2021

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  • Peer-Reviewed Publications (2020 & 2021) VIEW ⯈
  • COVID-19 Research Briefs (2020 & 2021) VIEW ⯈

5 Research Centres of Excellence

The Centre of Excellence for Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (CGSRHR)

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The Centre of Excellence for Health Systems and Universal Health Coverage (CoE-HS&UHC)

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The Centre of Excellence for Urban Equity and Health (CUEH)

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The Centre of Excellence for the Science of Implementation and Scale-Up (CoE-SISU)

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The Centre of Excellence for Non-Communicable Diseases and Nutrition (CNCDN)

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Humanitarian Research Hub

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  • Investigating pressing and emerging public health issues to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged populations
  • A team of 231 faculty and researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and professions
  • Dedicated five centres of excellence and humanitarian research hub with a proven track record and in-depth insights
  • Transforming evidence into action for change
  • Combining grounded research and analysis to inform government, key stakeholders (i.e., non-governmental organisations, international agencies), civil society and donors
  • Extensive global and national partnerships and networks
  • Providing evidence to support programmes and policies nationally and globally

Research Projects since 2005


Covid Research Projects since 2020


Peer-Reviewed Publications since inception


Global and Local Partners and Networks

BRAC JPGSPH believes in advocating to impact programme design and policies, closely engaging with government, key stakeholders (i.e., non-government organisations, international agencies), civil society and donors to push agendas of national and global importance. All research evidence undertaken by the School have to influence policy and programmes as part of their key mandate.

44+ Active engagements from July-September 2021


Activity to create awareness from July-September 2021

BRAC JPGSPH shares Study Findings with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of Bangladesh (GoB)

The research team at the Centre of Excellence for Health Systems and Universal Health Coverage (CoE-HS&UHC) shared 2 reports, based on the findings of 2 different studies, with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of Bangladesh (GoB).

Date: 10 August 2021

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Joint Policy Brief, Infographic and SRHR Program Booklet published by NWO-WOTRO

Three BRAC JPGSPH projects, funded by WOTRO, have been featured in a Joint Policy Brief, an Infographic and an SRHR Program Booklet published by the SRHR research program by the Dutch Research Council (NWO)- WOTRO Science for Global Development.

Date: 22 August 2021

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Right Here Right Now (RHRN) 2: Baseline findings per pathway (long term outcomes) and implications for strategies and recommendations

The members from RHRN 2 coalition partners joined this session in person and they set the programme activities for the next five years based on the findings and recommendations.

Date: 8 September 2021

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Midwifery Services focuses on Midwives Led Centres during the pandemic

Date: 15 September 2021


Global Footprint

Social Media Campaign on International Youth Day 2021

BRAC JPGSPH is proud to celebrate International Youth Day 2021 by emphasising on the contributions made by the young population in various communities, in efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Date: 12 August 2021

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President’s lecture and networking webinar: Neglected contexts in global health - analysing and addressing intersecting inequities

Bachera Aktar, Assistant Director, Centre of Excellence for Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (CGSRHR) at BRAC JPGSPH spoke at this webinar organised by The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH).

Date: 16 September 2021

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Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW)

Established in 2006, Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW), a multi-stakeholder civil society advocacy and monitoring network is dedicated to improving the health system in Bangladesh through a critical review of policies and programmes and recommendation of appropriate actions for change. BRAC JPGSPH serves as the Secretariat for BHW, since its inception. Amongst the working group members, The School representatives include the Dean, the Founding Dean and the Director of Centre for Health Systems Research.

Activity to Create Awareness from July-September 2021

Dose Mix-match of Covid Vaccines

European countries, including France and Germany, have recently recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Comirnaty as the second dose for those who received AstraZeneca’s vaccine as their first.

Published: 10 July 2021 in New Age

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Inventory to Policy Forum Access

The study aimed to explore the participation of citizens and policy forums in health policy processes in Bangladesh.

Published: 1 August 2021

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Citizen's Voice

BHW has created a platform where people can raise their voices and concerns related to health services. In collaboration with access to information(a2i), Directorate General of Health Services(DGHS) and Bloodman.

Published: 23 August 2021

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BHW Media Fellowship on Vaccine Equity

Unvaccinated Motor Workers find Vaccine sign-up complicated

Most transport workers finding Covid vaccine registration process difficult due to lack of National Identity (NID) cards and technological knowledge.

Published: 23 August 2021 in The Business Standard

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50 years of Bangladesh: Role of NGOs and CSOs in improving Health and Sanitation

Published: 17 July 2021


Sex Workers Missing Covid Vaccine over lack of Naional Identity (NID) cards

Daulatdia brothel houses around 1,400 sex workers, making it the largest brothel in Bangladesh. But a lack of birth certificates and NIDs is preventing the majority of these women from getting inoculated against the deadly virus, insiders have said.

Published: 27 September 2021 in The Business Standard

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Regional Chapter

Regional Chapters in eight divisions are being set up to monitor the health situation in their catchment areas. The Regional Chapters are establishing close linkages with service facilities at different administrative levels in order to understand the problems and opportunities of providing improved services to health seekers.

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The School's aim is to continually engage in translating research evidence to inform programme and policy interventions

  • Active engagement and creating change to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged populations
  • Continual stakeholder engagement with government, key stakeholders (i.e, non-governmental organisations, international agencies), Civil society and donors
  • Dedicated five centres of excellence and humanitarian research hub with a proven track record and in-depth insights
  • Strong networks of partnerships for advocacy: global, regional and national
  • To impact on programme design and policies

Advocacy-based Events with Multi-Stakeholder Engagements since inception


Webinars Related to COVID-19 since 2020


News Articles and 30 New Blogs Posted since April 2020

The BRAC JPGSPH Newsletter is a Quarterly Publication. Catch Our Next Issue in December, 2021 !

For any additional queries or information, please contact:

Supriti Sarkar

Assistant Manager, Knowledge Management,

Communications Team


Asif Faisal

Senior Officer,

Communications Team


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