Report on Inauguration Ceremony of Certificate Course on Climate Change and Public Health

Venue: Auditorium, Department of Geology, Dhaka University

For the development of human resource with sound knowledge of public health and climate change, University of Dhaka with technical support from Climate Change and Health Promotion Unit (CCHPU) and financial support from FCDO UK and UNFPA, launched a certificate course on climate change and public health with a duration of 3 months.

The inauguration ceremony was held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on 4th October 2022 from 08:30 am to 01:00 pm

Prof. A.K. Maksud Kamal

Prof. A.K Maksud Kamal, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University, graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Professor Ainun Nishat Emeritus Professor & Former Vice Chancellor of BRAC University was also present as the Guest of Honor.

Fahmida Shabnam, Team Leader, Human Capital Team of the British High Commission in Bangladesh, and Dr. Vibhavendra Raghuyamshi, UNFPA’s Chief of Health, Bangladesh also joined the event as special guests.

The seminar was chaired by Professor Zillur Rahman, Dean and Chairman Department of Disaster Science and Climate Resilience and attended by students from university as well as professionals from different government organizations and non-governmental organizations.

Professor Zillur Rahman

Prof. Iqbal Kabir, the keynote speaker started through pointing out health as cross cutting issue, which denotes its presence as being the wellness of physical, mental and social as well as spiritual aspect human. This course specifically developed for the need of the time, as the discourse of future activity of public health will surely cross path with climate change.

Prof. Iqbal Kabir

He identified that 13 different organizations sent participants to be enrolled in this course. This list includes participants from DGHS, Armed Force Medical Institute, icddr,b, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, NIPORT, DPHE, PHD, Pathfinder, UNFPA, Brac University, C3ER, Bangladesh Climate Change Trust, Bangladesh Meteorological Department. He welcomed all for the journey ahead.

Fahmida Shabnam, Leader, Human Capital Team, FCDO addressed the importance of research on the impact of climate change in global health as Bangladesh being one of the most vulnerable countries. She pointed out Bangladesh as a signatory of COP-26, it has become a political commitment. To emphasis the activities, she described capacity building, green hospital initiatives, sectoral program development and course introduction among the activities to be carried out through co-operation between FCDO, UNFPA and CCHPU.  Then she pointed out as component of that cooperation this course was initiated and finally realized through this ceremony. She wished further strengthening of such cooperation.

Fahmida Shabnam

Dr. Vibhavendra Raghuyamshi, UNFPA’s Chief of Health, Bangladesh is among the most vulnerable areas of the world for the impact of climate change, as the average height of Bangladesh makes the impacts of global warming, effects the livelihood, infrastructure and soil quality of the region. Health manifestation of the impact of climate change are being observed in sexual reproductive health rights of woman, the outcome of obstetrics complications such as low birth weight among the newborn, the effects of salinity through poor pregnancy outcome, infection of reproductive tract infection as well as the increased incidence of uterine cancer. Then he expressed his gratitude to Department of Disaster Science and Climate Resilience (DSCR) and Climate Change and Health Promotion Unit (CCHPU) for arranging such course and wished great success.

Dr. Vibhavendra Raghuyamshi

Prof Maksud Kamal, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dhaka University pointed out the constrains of current lack of inter-ministerial co-ordination which results in the lack of co-ordination among different stakeholders. To overcome this sort of roadblocks, such courses will work leap and bound as it will not only make people understand the need as well as provide a platform to work for such solutions. He wished greater success of the course in future.

In Concluding remark Professor Zillur Rahman, Dean and Chairman Department of Disaster Science and Climate Resilience stated that it has been a wonderful journey for the fruition of this certificate course, which was conceived a year ago, and through toil and hard work from DSCR and CCHPU, has come to the completion through this ceremony. He wished to make this a regular course for its sustainability and long-term commitment.

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