About WHO in Bangladesh
World Health Organization (WHO)is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. Its overall Objective is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health and to realize this objective, WHO has formulated a corporate strategy comprised of several strategic directions.
WHO Bangladesh has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh for strengthening the public health system since the beginning of its collaboration in 1972. It has been providing support for the development and strengthening of the country’s public health systems. Currently WHO support is guided by a broad framework known as the WHO Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) for 2014-2017.
Building on WHO’s mandate and its comparative advantage, six core functions have been defined for the organization and country activities of WHO Bangladesh are of course within the shepherd of these functions.
The core functions include the following:
- Providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed
- Shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge
- Setting norms and standards, and promoting and monitoring their implementation
- Articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options
- Providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity
- Monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends
In line with the above core functions, WHO support at the country level are designed and delivered to offering evidence-based guidelines, norms and standards, supporting capacity building and institutional strengthening, generating evidence for informed decision-making, shaping appropriate health policies and improving the overall delivery of health services.
Country Cooperation Strategy
Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2014-2017 is a medium-term framework that leads the WHO collaborative programme. It provides country-specific guidance for planning, budgeting and resource allocation for five areas of work referred to as strategic priorities. These are:
- Reduce the burden of communicable diseases, including vaccine-preventable diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases.
- Reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases through health promotion, risk reduction and cost-effective management.
- Reduce health, nutrition, environmental and occupational risk factors throughout the life course.
- Promote universal health coverage with strengthened health systems based on primary health care.
- Reduce mortality, morbidity and societal disruption resulting from epidemics, natural disasters, conflicts, environmental, and food-related emergencies, through prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities that build resilience and use a multisectoral approach.
The Strategic Agenda of the CCS 2014-2017 is very much aligned with the Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Programme (HPNSDP) 2011-2016 of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Bangladesh United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) Action Plan 2012-2016. In addition, they complement the following six WHO leadership priorities as expressed in its Twelfth General Programme of Work 2014-2019:
- Advancing universal health coverage
- Addressing unfinished and future challenges to achieve health-related Millennium Development Goals
- Addressing the challenge of noncommunicable diseases, mental health, violence and injuries, and disabilities
- Implementing the provisions of the International Health Regulations
- Increasing access to essential, high-quality and affordable medical products
- Addressing the social, economic and environmental determinants of health.
WHO collaboration with others:
WHO collaborates with professional societies, universities, NGOs and civil societies in specific and selected areas under the frame work of Plan of Action jointly developed and agreed with the Government (MOHFW). Accordingly, WHO cooperates with the BMA, the Private Practitioners' Association, the major tertiary medical colleges, several international and national NGOs, including GK (Gonoshasthaya Kendra), BRAC, ICDDR,B, Damien Foundation, Save the Children, DORP, and research institutions such as BIDS (Bangladesh Institute for Development Studies) and CPD (Centre for Policy Dialogue), among others.