NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Stakeholder engagement visits in Bangladesh

The RESPIRE team has been busy holding a series of stakeholder activities in Bangladesh this March, kindly coordinated by RESPIRE Partner and PhD student, Dr Monsur Habib, President of the Bangladesh Primary Care Respiratory Society (BPCRS).

Bringing stakeholders together

RESPIRE stakeholder engagement event in Rongpur
RESPIRE stakeholder engagement event in Rongpur

A number of events and visits were held over the week, in Dhaka, Rongpur and Khulna with the group engaging with a wide range of stakeholders – including state health leaders, religious leaders, medical educationists, pharmaceutical companies and primary care physicians.

The events provided plenty of opportunity for discussions around the existing health care system in Bangladesh, in particular related to respiratory health status. Groups debated who the key stakeholders for respiratory health are, what role they play in bringing respiratory health issues to the forefront of policy agenda and how they should be involved.

A key focus on pulmonary rehabilitation

The challenges and barriers to implementing Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services was also a key focus – and how each stakeholder could help to improve the services in Bangladesh.

Alongside wider stakeholder discussions, a first of its kind session with patient groups was also arranged in Khulna – with over 30 patients participating enthusiastically. This was focused on talking to and listening to patient voices as colleagues on their experiences and challenges faced in using pulmonary rehabilitation as part of their treatment routine. As part of their respiratory health issues treatment, pulmonary rehabilitation has been rolled out by Dr Monsur Habib at his Khulna clinics and in partnership with Dr SM Rowshan Alam at his Rongpur clinics. 

Working together for better respiratory health

We had some wonderful and deeply engaging sessions throughout the visit and I was really pleased to kick start the stakeholder involvement discussions. It’s important to have a multitude of stakeholders around the table, working together to challenge the status quo, in order to contribute to a shift in managing respiratory health issues in Bangladesh.

Dr Poonam MalikPartnerships Manager, RESPIRE