H.E. US Ambassador Mr. Earl R. Miller and the USAID Mission Director Derrick S. Brown visited Kurmitola General Hospital (KGH) in Dhaka, Bangladesh in early September. The visit was to recognize and support the work of USAID MTaPS program to prepare and train the doctors, nurses, and other health workers at COVID-dedicated hospitals like the Kurmitola Hospital in fighting the pandemic.
The Government of Bangladesh launched an urgent national preparedness and response action plan to fight COVID-19 in January. Since then, USAID MTaPS has been working closely with the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to support the effort. In collaboration with DGHS, the program launched a training of trainers course for doctors and nurses throughout Bangladesh on infection prevention and control (IPC), clinical management, and how to run a COVID-19 hospital. Through cascade training, both in-person and virtual, nearly 4,000 health care workers and managers from 257 hospitals have been trained, including 88 at KGH.
Training facilitators demonstrate handwashing during an IPC training for ambulance drivers in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Ambassador Miller and Mr. Brown visited KGH on September 3, 2020, and were joined by Prof Dr. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Director General, DGHS, and MTaPS Country Project Director Dr. Jebun Rahman. Mr. Miller praised the courage, strength, and sacrifice of doctors, nurses, and other health staff in caring for COVID- 19 patients.
Dr. Zebunnessa, who serves on KGH’s IPC Committee, and received training through MTaPS, shared her experiences during the Ambassador’s visit.
“We are now more aware of practicing COVID-19 IPC. This training helped strengthen our health staff’s capacity to improve COVID-19 IPC practices, and we can provide better services to our patients with confidence,” she said.
In addition to the training that benefitted Dr. Zebunnessa and her colleagues, MTaPS, the DGHS, and other development partners developed a comprehensive National COVID-19 Health Facility Readiness Rapid Assessment Checklist to assess all COVID-19 designated health facilities in Dhaka, identify gaps, and implement solutions.
“Previously, we did not practice IPC, but we are now confident about our personal safety and security, and able to handle the COVID positive patients safely,” said Dr. Zebunnessa, reflecting on changes in her facility as a result of USAID MTaPS’ assessment.
Mr. Brown thanked the hospitals’ health care professionals for effectively managing COVID-19 cases and minimizing the spread of the disease.
Prof Dr. Khurshid Alam closed the program by thanking USAID for supporting the training and the hospital’s director for creating an enabling environment for staff. He also acknowledged the heroism of health workers, who are on the front lines during COVID-19.
USAID, MTaPS, and the DGHS will continue to provide training support on IPC guidelines as part of Bangladesh’s efforts to contain the virus.
Learn more about the MTaPS program's COVID-19 support to Bangladesh.