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Capacity Development for Combating Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (WDF 12- 672)

Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), in collaboration with the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS), has been implementing a project entitled ‘Capacity development for combating Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) in Bangladesh’ with support from World Diabetes Foundation (WDF).

Goal of the Project :

The Goal of the Project is to develop capacity in terms of human resources, standardized protocols, culturally sensitive BCC tools, and organized awareness/advocacy campaigns which, ultimately will equip both the GO, NGO and private sectors for better prevention and management of GDM.

Objectives of the Project :

  1. To create (and periodically update) consensus documents for the prevention, detection, management and follow up of GDM;
  2. To train health professionals for relevant GDM-related activities;
  3. To adapt/develop promotional/educational, training materials targeted to specific groups of health professionals and public taking into account of the local socioeconomic and cultural perspectives; and
  4. To conduct awareness and advocacy campaigns to sensitize the general mass and policy makers about the short-term risks of GDM as well as on the health and socioeconomic benefits of timely intervention.

Conducting Training Programs :

The training programme on Management and Prevention of GDM has been conducted over the last two years from the initiation of the project to build up the capacity awareness among the health professionals. The primary target groups of the programs are health care professionals/ personnel involved in the clinical care and prevention of GDM.

For capacity development, relevant specialists in Obstetrics & Gynecology (mainly for sensitizing them to follow a standardized protocol), general physicians, nurses/health educators and community based health workers are being trained with appropriate tools. A wider community of Bangladeshi population will be benefited in this project through the improved knowledge and skill gained by the trainees.

More than 900 health care providers have been trained from 05 training programme organized in Dhaka (phase 1 & 2), Rajshahi, Tangail & Sylhet over the period. Around 2500 health care professionals are expected to be trained by the project in the coming years to ensure optimum medical services to mothers.

Organizing Round Table Advocacy Meeting with Opinion Leaders :

A total no of 12 round table advocacy meetings were conducted in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Savar, Tangail, Rajshahi, Natore, Noagaon, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Hobiganj & Moulvibazar. All of the meetings were attended by the opinion leaders and policy makers, like Deputy Commissioners, Civil Surgeons, social workers, teachers, NGO officials and journalists.

It seems that our messages on GDM were properly communicated to them, as instantly, they showed great enthusiasm in supporting future activities on this problem and some of them came up with very good ideas on how to increase community involvement and interfering with field level public sectors and NGO programs.

The project has planned to organize advocacy meetings in rest of 52 districts in the country. About 3200 Community Leaders, Policy makers, Civil Surgeons, Health Administrators, and Journalists will be exposed trough the advocacy activities.

Initiating Awareness Symposium for the healthcare providers :

Awareness symposiums on Management & Prevention of GDM in Bangladesh have already organized in Institute of Child and Mother Health (ICMH), Dhaka; Rajshahi Medical College, Rajshahi; MAG Osmani Medical College, Sylhet & Kumudini Womens Medical College, Tangail. Through the awareness symposiums, we have reached 1250 health professionals for building awareness on GDM equipped with appropriate BCC strategies targeting mass people but focusing especially on health professionals and social activists. The project has planned to organize rest of 20 awareness symposiums in all over the country.

Mass awareness campaign activities :

For the mass awareness programs, road side musical & cultural shows on open vehicles touring around various places is designed. We have organized 04 regional folk activities by the songs to impart the message on GDM. For the awareness, leaflets were circulated among approximately 2000 people in various spots and the roadside shows. The project has planned to perform almost 55 awareness campaign during the entire period of the project.

Expected Outcomes from the Combating Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Project :

To date the project has achieved the desired targets in most of the indicators such as trained health care providers form national to local community level (Government/Non Government) by using consensus guidelines, conducted advocacy meetings for policy makers and opinion leaders, provided BCC materials, conducted mass community campaigns through folk songs.

In the long-term, the project aims at achieving national level standard guideline for management and prevention of GDM endorsed by the Government of Bangladesh, which will be implemented through public- private/GO-NGO partnership. After successfully implementing the project, eventually GDM among Bangladeshi women will be combated, the adverse consequences in women and children will be reduced through proper counseling and management thereby the quality of life will be improved.