First Cohort of Certificate Course on Climate Change and Public Health Completed

Closing ceremony of Certificate Course on Climate Change and Public Health was held on January 30, 2024, at the Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka, jointly organized by Disaster Science and Climate Resilience (DSCR) and Climate Change and Health Promotion Unit (CCHPU) with technical support from Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and United Nation’s Population Fund (UNFPA) Bangladesh. A total of 42 participants from diverse backgrounds participated in this course.

Honorable Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka, Prof. A.S.M Maksud Kamal, presided as the Chief Guest for the occasion. Other notable figures such as Prof. Shah Monir Hossain, President of the Public Health Association of Bangladesh, Fahmida Shabnam, Leader, Human Capital Team, FCDO and United Nation’s Population Program (UNFPA) Bangladesh’s Chief of Health, Dr. Vibhavendra Raghuyamshi, Dr. Shibbir Ahmed Osmani, Joint Secretary (Public Health) of Health Services Division (HSD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) attended the ceremony as special guests. Prof. Dr. Iqbal Kabir, the Co-Ordinator of CCHPU, HSD, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, welcomed all the guests along with the participants with an inspiring speech that highlighted the necessity for integrating climate awareness through public health initiatives, as well as the journey that made this course possible.

In his speech as Chief Guest, Prof A.S.M Maksud Kamal applauded the participants for their successful completion of the course and praised the collaborative efforts of the CCHPU, UNFPA and FCDO for their technical support. He expressed gratitude towards the facilitators and resource persons for their commitment and looked forward with optimism to host future cohorts. He emphasized on further contribution of the participants in combating climate change and enhancing public health for climate resilient Bangladesh. Matt Cannell, Deputy High Commissioner and Development Director, British High Commission in a message expressed that the UK has a strong partnership with the Government of Bangladesh on climate actions, as set out in the UK/Bangladesh Climate Accord. Kristine Blokhus, UNFPA Country Representative in Bangladesh in a message highlighted the collaboration between FCDO, UNFPA, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and University of Dhaka for supporting better comprehension of climate change and health among developmental professionals including government managers from health and other ministries.

Fahmida Shabnam from FCDO conveyed her gratitude to be involved in such a time demanding course. Dr. Vibhavendra Raghuyamshi from UNFPA Bangladesh voiced his thankfulness to DSCR and CCHPU for organizing the certificate course. Dr. Shibbir Ahmed Osmani, Joint Secretary (Public Health) of Health Services Division, MoHFW thanked FCDO and UNFPA for supporting the course and hoped for further collaboration to organize similar cohorts.

A total of 42 participants of the course, divided in six groups, shared their insightful findings from comprehensive coursework and fieldwork in the field of 1. Sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR), 2. Health National Adaptation Plan(H-NAP), 3. Climate change impact on non-communicable and communicable diseases, 4. Loss and Damage focusing the coastal Bangladesh 5. Curriculum development for health service providers and 6. Concepts of climate resilient school. A total of 6 case studies with 6 policy briefs and 6 project proposals were presented by the group of participants.

All the works were highly appreciated by the audience, reflecting the diversity of knowledge and expertise of the participants. The honorable Vice Chancellor distributed certificates among the participants as an appreciation of their engagement and enthusiasm in the course.

The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks from Professor Zillur Rahman, Chairman of DSCR and Dean, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Dhaka expressing appreciation to all.

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