Ambassador Mozena commends the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for its efforts to save lives and promote advanced medical training and research

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DHAKA, August 28, 2013 – U.S. Ambassador Dan Mozena visited the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) today, where he congratulated the institution for its work to save lives, conduct postgraduate medical training, and promote critical biomedical research. Accompanied by Professor Dr. Pran Gopal Datta, Vice-Chancellor, the Ambassador toured the BSMMU Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Center for Neurodevelopment and Autism in Children, the Palliative Care Unit, and the University’s proposed expansion site.

Ambassador Mozena encouraged BSMMU to develop partnerships with academic institutions in the United States, particularly in the field of clinical research. Ambassador Mozena gave special praise to BSMMU’s leadership in reducing newborn asphyxia (breathing difficulties) through the Helping Babies Breathe initiative. With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Leardal Foundation, BSMMU has now trained more than 17,000 health service providers across Bangladesh on the use of a simple bag and mask device designed to resuscitate babies who experience asphyxia symptoms. By using simple clinical techniques, medical staff and birth attendants are helping save the lives of many infants throughout the country. Asphyxia, or oxygen deprivation, is the second leading cause of newborn death that claims the lives of 21,500 babies each year in Bangladesh. Preventing asphyxia at birth is one of the key components of Bangladesh’s Action Plan to End Preventable Child Deaths by 2035.

The U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided over $6 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. In 2012 alone, USAID provided more than $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh. USAID supports programs in Bangladesh that: promote democratic institutions and practices, expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education services, and increase resiliency to climate change through adaptation and low carbon development.