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7 January 2016

Report on Collegium Ramazzini activities in Dhaka, Bangladesh in November 2015

The Collegium Ramazzini, cooperated with the Dhaka Community Hospital Trust (DCHT), the International Social Security Association (ISSA), Harvard University School of Public Health and the International Labor Organization (ILO) in organizing 1) a professional training workshop and 2) a policy conference on environmental and occupational safety and health (EOSH), which were held in late November 2015 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

These activities resulted from an initial workshop on occupational safety and health held in February 2014 and was stimulated as a response to the Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka where over 1100 workers were killed in a factory building collapse. An additional planning meeting with DCHT, CR and ISSA was held in March 2015.

The DCHT is a trust-owned private, non-profit and self-financed organization providing health care for low income, underprivileged people. Beside basic health care service, DCHT works on disaster management, arsenic in water mitigation, safe water supply, community development of sanitation systems and various research programs. DCHT works in collaboration with the Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network (ADRRN) and the Asia-Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PADM); and has several international research collaborations, including with the Harvard School of Public Health.

The primary outcome was strong support for the goal creating a Center for Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health (CEOSH) at DCHT that will gradually be able to:
-Train a growing cadre of credentialed EOSH professionals
-Conduct research to understand EOSH needs and impact of interventions
-Deliver EOSH services through the DCH primary health care delivery system
-Serve as an EOSH scientific/technical resource center for Bangladesh
-Provide evidence-based advocacy for EOSH.

To achieve this, it is very clear that DCHT will need international assistance, both in the form of financial support for development costs under a clear plan towards self-sufficiency, and technical/scientific exchange. This international commitment will need to remain strong over a long period of time, but it should also reflect the ability of DCHT to meet its goals. For the Collegium, continuing its engagement is important.




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