Mission Director Remarks: 2014 Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey Dissemination

Saturday, April 25, 2015

·      Mohammed Nasim, Honorable Minister of Health and Family Welfare;

·      Zahid Maleque, State Minister of Health and Family Welfare;

·      Syed Monjurul Islam, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare;

·      Mohammad Wahid Hossain, Director General of NIPORT;

·      Ambassador Marcia Bernicat;

·      Esteemed guests, colleagues, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen:

          Assalamu aleikum, nomoshkar and good afternoon.  I am delighted to be here today at the official release of the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey’s preliminary results. I want to congratulate our partners at NIPORT, Mitra and Associates, ICF International, and ICDDR,B, and our USAID health team members for their excellent work. Your tireless efforts have given us this valuable opportunity to closely examine the progress and remaining challenges in our work together to improve people’s health in Bangladesh.

          Data, information, and evidence are the cornerstone of all successful development programs – especially in health – and USAID is strongly committed to using these valuable tools. The Demographic and Health Surveys are one of USAID’s most successful initiatives worldwide; DHS reports have been produced in more than 80 different countries.  

          Since 1993, Bangladesh has conducted a DHS every 3 to 4 years. Most importantly, Bangladesh has done a fantastic job in emphasizing the widespread sharing of DHS findings in order to inform and influence decision-makers as they formulate health policy. This approach has made the Bangladesh DHS a model among the 80-something countries that are implementing these sophisticated surveys and USAID is proud to have been a part of these efforts. 

          The 2014 survey provides information on 18 indicators that will be used by the Government of Bangladesh to monitor and evaluate the performance of the current Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Program. At USAID, we will be using the Bangladesh DHS as one of our key tools for monitoring the progress under of our current programs and guiding future programming.  Today’s dissemination is the first of many 2014 BDHS-related activities that USAID is supporting. Over the coming months, we plan to share the DHS findings more widely.

·      From previous experience, we know that there is a keen interest among public health professionals at all levels to learn about the performance of their programs. Over the next three months, USAID will support NIPORT in organizing meetings for health program managers and service providers in all of Bangladesh’s seven Divisions to disseminate findings from the 2014 BDHS.

·      By the end of this year, we plan to complete the final report of the 2014 BDHS and develop policy briefs based on the findings. We will also schedule a seminar and organize several targeted round-table meetings to discuss the programmatic and policy implications of the survey findings in greater detail.

·      We also plan to organize three training workshops for selected candidates from government and non-governmental health organizations, and research institutes. These individuals will have the opportunity to learn how to analyze both the 2014 Bangladesh DHS and Bangladesh Health Facility Survey data more effectively.

          So while today marks the end of the data collection and analysis phase, it is only the beginning of our efforts to make sure that the Bangladesh DHS data is utilized to its fullest extent in order to ultimately improve the health of families and communities throughout all of Bangladesh.

          Before I close, I want to once again thank all of the organizations and individuals involved with producing the 2014 BDHS. I would also like to thank the honorable Minister, State Minister, and Secretary for their continued support on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

          We look forward to continuing our work together with you – and with all of our partners – toward the goal of reaching all Bangladeshis with quality healthcare.  Thank you very much, and onek dhonnobad!

Dhaka, Bangladesh
Issuing Country