Bangladesh: Bridging the gap between emergency and development efforts through leadership and collaboration
Practical steps: 2-3-4-6
An authoritative and empowered National Technical Committee (led by the Directorate of Health with four ministries and multiple partners taking part, including WHO, UNICEF and WaterAid), meets on a quarterly basis and is mandated to provide governance oversight. Establishment of the committee sparked the development and subsequent implementation of a National Strategy for WASH in HCF (2019–2023) (5). The strategy provides an important bridge between development and emergency efforts, leading to more targeted, coordinated action and funding. It articulates a pathway that will enable all health care facilities in Bangladesh to deliver standardized IPC services and bring about a new era of quality health care. Over 100 community clinics in climate-related disaster-prone areas of southwest Bangladesh have been renovated with support from partners according to a newly developed set of WASH guidelines for community clinics. Finally, the collaboration of emergency and development sectors has been instrumental in the national roll-out of WASH FIT. First piloted in Cox’s Bazar, it has led to assessment and improvements in 184 health care facilities with a further 104 health care workers trained in and around the Rohingya refugee camps.