The health sector in Bangladesh has witnessed notable improvement in provision of primary healthcare (PHC) services for its population since its independence in 1971. However, Over the last decade, rapid urbanization has placed the urban health system under high pressure and has resulted, in accessibility and affordability limitations in PHC for the disadvantaged, particularly in the slums, where most of the urban poor live. The insufficient capacities of public health facilities have been increasingly complemented by other actors through PHC services for the urban poor run by NGOs and the private sector through public private partnerships (PPPs) with Government actors.
In order to help the Government of Bangladesh address its Urban Health issues, the EU will support CSOs/NGOs to work with municipalities to deliver primary healthcare and nutrition to the poor residents of urban slums while building institutions for long-term sustainable service delivery and coordination. EU support is also aimed at strengthening the Ministry of Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives (MoLGRDC) and Local Government Division (LGD) to address its urban health responsibilities, municipalities to contract and manage CSOs/NGOs to develop and delivery sustainable and integrated primary healthcare services and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) to coordinate urban health services and develop its stewardship of the urban health sector.
EPOS has been contracted by the EU to provide the necessary technical assistance towards achievement of the specific project objective of improving the utilization of sustainable, integrated and comprehensive health, nutrition and population services by the urban poor in Bangladesh
The technical assistance is lodged within the current health system reform agenda and aimed to facilitate achievement of results that complement the overall reform process by facilitating strengthening and harmonization of systems, structures and protocols. To this end, the following services are being provided by EPOS:
- Facilitate the establishment of a coordination mechanism between the different stakeholders of urban health especially the MoHFW, MoLGRDC, LGD and Municipalities / City Corporations
- Strengthening capacity of MoLGRDC to manage delivery of healthcare services to the urban poor through PPPs
- Strengthening the capacities of the municipalities to manage PPP contracts for delivery of healthcare services
- Strengthening the capacity of MoHFW to coordinate, develop and enforce essential health, nutrition and population service quality standards, monitoring system and accreditation as the centralized and decentralized levels
- Enable and facilitate utilization of the Euro 2 Million earmarked as Programme Estimates for capacity improvement of the MoHFW and MoLGRDC
- Facilitate the utilization and monitoring of the grant amount of Euro 15.6 million earmarked for essential health, nutrition and population services to the urban poor through CSOs/NGOs under PPP