AIUB LAUNCHES NEW MPH PROGRAM AND HELD ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

The American International University-Bangladesh(AIUB) launched the new Masters in Public Health at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka on 31 July 2008 with the Honorable Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as the Chief Guest, Mr. Zafar Ullah Khan and Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines, Ms. Zenaida Tacorda-Rabago as the special guest. During the launching, the participants and guests were warmly welcomed by the Honorable Vice Chancellor, Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna and at the same time delivered the statement of purpose. The MPH as an academic program and the various challenges and national and international linkages in the development of the program were discussed by Prof. Dr. Ahmad Neaz. The lady ambassador delivered a brief message exhorting the similar condition obtaining in the Philippines and in Bangladesh as the regards to the need for efficient and effective public health program management. She praised the university for the efforts in offering the program as its contribution to improve the management of the public health system and services. In the roundtable discussion ably moderated by the Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Anwar Hossain, the participants coming from different sectors have raised relevant and timely issues besetting the public health system in Bangladesh. Issues of paramount importance such as population, nutrition, poor quality of services, lack of competence by the health service providers, lifestyle of the people, lack of advocacy and awareness of the people or target beneficiaries, high cost of health services in the private sector, predominance of indigenous ways of preventive and curative healthcare system among rural people, and other wide range of issues. It was fortunate that the chief guest was a man of health and family welfare. He also echoed the inadequate resources of the government to expand and improve health services in the country. He, however, underscored the marked progress the government is achieving in pursuing the MDG goals of the country. Finally, the honorable secretary congratulated the management of the American International University-Bangladesh for the new MPH program and the distinct emphasis on planning and management skills. The affair was made complete with the inspirational message of the Founder and Chairman of the Board of AIUB, Dr. Anwarul Abedin whose passion for health and health related programs have been fulfilled through the MPH. The whole affair was successfully coordinated by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr. Charles C. Villanueva.