How BRAC has contributed to saving Bangladeshi mothersOn February 13, 2011, Bangladeshis woke up to some wonderful news: a significant nationwide Maternal Mortality Survey showed that Bangladesh has achieved tremendous improvement in reducing maternal mortality in the last 9 years - a whopping 40% drop, from 322 to 194 per 100,000 live births, putting the nation on track to meet the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 by 2015. Percentage-wise, the rate of decline is about 5.5 percent each year on average, 0.1 percentage point lower than the required 5.4 percent for attaining MDG 5.
Below is an article published on the Nourishing the Planet blog by Matt Styslinger, who worked as Student Researcher at BRAC in 2008/ 2009, conducting field research on BRAC’s Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH) Program.
BRAC's Essential Health Care is a project that trains Community Health Volunteers (CHV) to serve the health needs of her community, with particular attention to poor women and children. CHVs also serve as self employed micro entrepreneurs who go door to door to sell essential healthcare products such as soap, water guard, ORS and condoms. They visit around 15 houses a day to educate those people on health issues and check on their health status.
This Sunday, January 9th 2011, is a historic day for South Sudan, when over 4 million registered voters will cast their ballot to decide whether or not the south secedes from the north to create a new independent nation. This referendum for independence is the culmination of a peace process ending decades of conflict between the north and the south. The conflict that spanned four decades with a brief respite ultimately killed more than an estimated 2 million people and continued until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in January 2005—exactly six years ago. While, political analysts believe that the referendum will yield a new state, peace will be fragile. There is much to accomplish in Southern Sudan where over 51%of the population live below the poverty line, and the literacy rate stand at a paltry 24%. Moreover, there are continued border disputes with the north over the oil rich regions of Abyei.
The New York Times yesterday published a piece about the security and dangers faced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Afghanistan (Link to article). There is no question that security is the #1 challenge to BRAC's work in the country. But since we first began operations in 2002 after being invited to work there, BRAC has become the largest NGO operating in Afghanistan. It is a fairly unique form of South-South collaboration in Afghanistan in the area of poverty alleviation that we are very proud of.
"From One to Many: Scaling Up Health Programs in Low Income Countries" published by The University Press Limited was recently launched. The book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about both the problems and the opportunities involved in effectively scaling up health programs. The book is a collection of articles submitted to the International Conference on Scaling Up Health Programs, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December 2008.
In Microfinance:For its reporting on Social Indicators, BRAC Pakistan is a 2010 recipient of the Silver Award from Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), sponsored by CGAP. Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and Ford Foundation. “We are much delighted and inspired by the award,” says Mr. Muhammed Faridur Rahman, CEO of BRAC Pakistan. In 2009, BRAC in Bangladesh was also a recipient of the same award from MIX.
Mary Naluwu is a BRAC Community Health Volunteer (CHV) in Kihombooza village, near Hoima town in western Uganda. As she walked with, Hellen Birungi, a BRAC Health Project Assistant (PA), carrying out their duty in the village, they found a pregnant woman at her home with high blood pressure and referred her for medical treatment. That day Naluwu and Hellen were providing ante-natal care to pregnant women in their homes.
Over 20 million people have been affected by the floods in Pakistan, 75% of whom are in the Sindh and Punjab provinces. The floods damaged or destroyed 1.9 million houses.BRAC has a relief and rehabilitation program in place in the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. The flood waters have started to recede and the displaced population is returning to their homes and villages.
Last Monday, The Council on Foreign Relations hosted a panel of experts to discuss the Progress of the UN Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Panelists included Mr. Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Planning at the United Nations, Mr. Samuel A. Worthington, President & CEO of InterAction, and Mr. T. Charles Cooper, Vice President for Congressional and Public Affairs at Millenium Challenge Corporation. The panel was moderated by Gail D. Fosler, President of GailFosler Group LLC.
Today at the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit Special Event on the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, BRAC founder and chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed pledged to mobilize $700 million over the next five years to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing child and maternal mortality and saving the lives of millions of the worlds most vulnerable in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Haiti.
We have the latest update from the flood situation: The flood situation is worsening, with Sindh and Punjab regions now severely affected due to flooding of the river Sindh. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been experiencing torrential rains for the last two days, and flood warnings are being issued again. The level of the Kabul river has risen to dangerous heights and rain has contributed to more flooding in the already affected areas. People who had been returning to their homes are experiencing difficulties as the water is coming in again.