Bangladesh established an Urban Health network around 2009, and different policy development and advocacies began, and in 2015, Eminence organized the 12th international conference for urban health, in Dhaka Bangladesh. This conference included local government and joint health ministry support. There were 450 international participants at the conference. Dhaka’s statement for Urban Health was developed in response to this conference. This was a global advocacy tool. USAID and European DFID helped to organize this conference.

Advocacy of double burden of Malnutrition

After its inception, Eminence conducted a baseline survey of the Integrated Nutrition Program (INP) in 2004 for Plan International. When we began analyzing the data, we noticed there was a high number of overweight women in the rural areas. The report included the existing underweight and overweight among the women of the INP implementation areas of the Northern side of Bangladesh. This was the first time Bangladesh found a report to address the double burden of malnutrition. After its dissemination, HKI and ICDDRB reanalyzed their existing data, to find the same existing trend of malnutrition. Our INP survey was a change-maker in the world of nutrition for Bangladesh.

NCDs in USAID’s agenda

In 2008, Eminence became a member of the Technical Committee for Bangladesh Urban Health Survey. It was conducted by NIPORT (National Institution of Population of Operation and Research and Training) and funded by USAID. In the technical committee meeting, Eminence team members argued successfully to include NCDs in the urban health surveys. Most technical committee members opposed the idea. Dr. ShamsulArifeen and Dr. Kamta Jamil accepted our points to include these in the guidelines. This was the first time Bangladesh included NCDs (diabetes and hypertension) related data in their urban health surveys. Then our continued advocacy towards USAID helped Dr. Kamta Jamil to include NCDs in the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) in 2013. From here out the BDHS has always continued to include NCDs in their data collection.

A Common Platform for Non-Communicable Diseases

Near the end of 2007, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc. were grouped together by taking 14 different associations and merging them into one conglomerate, advised by the Eminence team and SHONEN. Medico Bangladesh committed for 3 years of support to establish this platform called Bangladesh Noncommunicable Disease Forum, led by the late Professor AKM Rofikuddin. He was at the time, the president of the Medicine Society of Bangladesh. Professor Shah Monir Hossain, ex-director general of biological health services, aided in establishing the forum. Globally, this was the first platform of the different associations to work for different non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, COPD, etc. The global NCD alliance was created in 2010. Eminence was one of the pioneers of the global NCD network.

Urban Health Network

We have always worked to introduce effective change, such as planning activities in the development selector. Eminence may be one of the first organizations to take advantage of social media. We create opportunities for home-based work and allow working mothers to bring in their young children to work. We have babysitting facilities on-site, that allow for working mothers to remain in their field while having the safety of their children cared for at the same location. In 2004, we are one of the first community-based NCD-based program services available.

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