NEWS | March 29, 2021

First National Congress on Epidemiology and Public Health to Highlight the Field’s Importance in Fighting COVID-19 and Other Public Health Issues

DHAKA, U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is partnering with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), and the Epidemiology Association of Bangladesh to fund the first Bangladesh Congress on Epidemiology and Public Health on March 31 and April 1 in Dhaka and online. High level officials of the Ministry of Health and U.S. Ambassador Earl Miller will participate in the two-day Congress. This first-ever event will highlight the vital roles field epidemiology and public health play in saving lives and keeping people healthy in Bangladesh and across the world, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and previous epidemics, and is intended to become a recurring event taking place biennially.

Other special invited guests include: Mr. Md. Abdul Mannan, Honorable Secretary of Health Service Division; Md. Ali Nur, Honorable Secretary of Medical Education and Family Welfare Division; Professor Dr. ABM Khurshid Alam, Director General of Health Services; Professor Dr. AHM Enayet Hossain, Director General of Medical Education; Professor Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora ADG (Planning), DGHS; Professor Dr. Tahmina Shirin Director, IEDCR; Dr. Alden Henderson, Dr. Bassam Jarrar, and Dr. Carl Reddy from CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and Dr. Michael S. Friedman, Country Director, CDC, Bangladesh.

The two-day conference is a hybrid, in-person and online, event that will bring together epidemiologists, researchers, public health professionals, faculty of community medicine from Bangladesh and other countries to share their experience in the field of public health. The goal is to share scientific lessons learned in Bangladesh about COVID-19, other outbreaks, such as diphtheria, dengue, influenza, cholera, hepatitis, etc., and growing health challenges, including environmental health, mental health, heart disease, and toxicology, every two years. Other goals of the Congress include establishing a global network of public health experts to apply COVID-19 lessons to preparing for future pandemics and outbreaks and building support for expanding the number of epidemiologists and public health experts in Bangladesh.

Conference presenters and a select number of special invitees will participate in person at a Dhaka venue location. All other registered guests will join virtually. Registration (www.fetpbangladesh.org) and virtual attendance is free and open to any health professional engaged in public health or those interested in learning more about the science and practice of epidemiology and public health in Bangladesh. Other expected participants include representatives from government organizations such as Army Medical Corps and Department of Livestock Services, public and private universities, city corporations, departments of community medicine of medical colleges across the country, NGOs, private medical practitioners, UN organizations, and other members of the donor community.

For more information about the Congress and for free registration, visit: https://fetpbangladesh.org/about-us/.

Media outlets interested in covering the event, please contact our Press Team: Embassy Press Team member Ricky Salmina at salminarx@state.gov.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. national public health agency was established in July 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center with the primary mission of preventing the spread of malaria across the United States. Disease surveillance became the cornerstone of CDC’s mission and over time changed the practice of public health. The CDC has worked around the world for more than 60 years, and currently works in 50-plus countries, including Bangladesh. The CDC brought its first medical epidemiologist, Dr. Stanley Foster, to Bangladesh in 1972. He spent four years in Dhaka (1972-1976) working with national health workers to eradicate smallpox from the country. More CDC epidemiologists followed and helped the country eradicate polio; reduce the burden of cholera; establish Bangladesh’s strong childhood immunization program; address micro-nutrient deficiencies; and investigate new pandemic-potential pathogens such as nipah virus. Since 2015, the CDC has focused on the Global Health Security Agenda to strengthen public health systems across the globe to detect, control, and ultimately prevent pandemics and large outbreaks. CDC Bangladesh partners with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other federal and local government entities, medical and research associations, and others, on a number of initiatives to build the country’s capacity to prevent the spread of diseases and help Bangladeshis live more healthy lives. For more information about the CDC’s work on global health issues, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/index.html.