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Chief Representative's Speech

May 4, 2016

Closing Ceremony of Safe Motherhood Promotion Project Phase 2
(04/May/2016@ Hotel Lakeshore, Dhaka)

Honorable Chief Guest, Mr. Syed Monjurul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
Honorable Chairperson, Dr. AE Muhiuddin Osmani, Joint Chief, Planning, MOHFW,
Prof. A.H.M. Enayet Hussain, Additional Director General, DGHS,
Respected Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen

Assalamu alaikum and good morning

I am pleased to be here today to celebrate the completion of Safe Motherhood Promotion Project Phase 2. I really appreciate hard work of MOHFW staff and JICA experts and staff to make this project a great success. I thank all the participants today for joining this important ceremony. But for your strong support, SMPP could not contribute this much to improvement of maternal and neonatal health (MNH) in Bangladesh.

SMPP started in July 2006 to develop an effective model of improving MNH status in the district of Narsingdi. In five years, SMPP created so called "Narsingdi model" which consists of three key components: 1) hospital based intervention to improve the quality of MNH services; 2) establishment of community support system to save lives of mothers and children; and 3) collaboration with local government bodies, in particular union parishads, to mainstream MNH as an important development agenda. These three components complement each other to produce maximum outcome. Indeed, effectiveness of Narsingdi model was corroborated by scientific research papers. As a result, the model is appreciated not only in Bangladesh but also internationally.

SMPP Phase 2 was intended to scale up the three components of Narsingdi model throughout Bangladesh. As you have heard already, 5S-Kaizen-TQM, a hospital management approach that SMPP2 promoted in collaboration with the government counterparts, has been successfully introduced in more than 120 hospitals. This is one of the remarkable achievements in the health sector of Bangladesh. I myself visited some hospitals in Narsingdi and Satkhira where 5S was practiced and was impressed by dramatic changes that hospital staff made and by their enthusiasm to improve their hospitals to be more client-friendly. Considering all the limitations that public hospitals are facing, their devotion is absolutely praiseworthy.

Community Support Groups that are organized under Community Clinics were originated from SMPP. Now we can see them everywhere in Bangladesh being autonomously operated by community people. Members of Community Support Groups are proud to serve for better health of their own communities. Besides, we cannot forget significant contribution of union parishards to improve services of Community Clinics and create an assuring environment for expectant mothers. Good practices were shared among unions to replicate through horizontal learning programs coordinated by DG health and LGD (Local Government Division).

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I congratulate Bangladesh's remarkable achievements in MDG 4 and 5. Now SDGs replaced MDGs but reduction of maternal and child mortality remains an unfinished agenda. Bangladesh still needs to work on tackling difficult challenges ahead to achieve SDGs. JICA has been supporting Bangladesh's health sector, particularly maternal and child health and infectious disease control. Building on the success of SMPP, JICA is pleased to continue working with you all for realizing quality health services in Bangladesh.

Apnader Shabaike Dhannabad. Thank you all.

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