TASC Bangladesh Program :

Bangladesh is TASC's main project country in South Asia and is a regional leader in child injury prevention.

1 . The Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey , BHIS, was conducted in 2003 and formally released in January, 2005. The principal collaborating partners were UNICEF/ Bangladesh, TASC, the Director General for Health Services, and the Institute for Mother and Child Health. The BHIS is believed to be the largest community based survey of its kind with a sample size of over 171,000 households involving close to 820,000 people.



Including children of all ages up to age 18, this survey documented injury as the biggest killer of children ages 1-18 in the country killing over 30,000 per year, or 83 per day. Drowning is the single biggest killer of children in Bangladesh.

This landmark survey initiated critical action now taking place in Bangladesh to prevent child injuries. (For complete BHIS details, please go to " Downloads ".)

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2. Developing Child Injury Capacity in Asia -CIPRB founded in 2004.


Centre for Injury Prevention Research,

Even with a long and successful history of child survival activities, before 2004, no institution in Bangladesh was seriously addressing child injury, despite the overwhelming evidence that it was a leading cause of child mortality and morbidity.



The Centre for Injury Prevention Research Bangladesh, (CIPRB), was conceived in 2004 and became fully operational as an independent NGO in 2005. CIPRB's goal is a safe and injury free community for Bangladesh children and those in other low income countries. CIPRB is working to prevent injuries through operations research which develops prevention methods and technologies and then sharing that information with interested parties willing and able to take action in their own communities.

Dr. Fazlur Rahman, Executive Director, and Dr. Aminur Rahman, Senior Epidemiologist, have been joined by a staff of roughly 20 other professionals including epidemiologists, statisticians, information management specialists, and support personnel dedicated to making this new non-governmental organization successful.

TASC President Pete Peterson serves as a member of the CIPRB governing board while TASC Technical Director Dr. Mike Linnan is a member of their technical advisory group. TASC is providing core support to the institution during its first 3 years and will assist CIPRB in additional fundraising. In 2005, UNICEF/ Bangladesh joined CIPRB and TASC in an exciting community based injury prevention project which is demonstrating how injuries can be prevented in low income countries.

CIPRB staff have already shared their experiences with regional and international colleagues. Dr. Fazlur is on the WHO editorial board for an upcoming publication on child injury. CIPRB is an institutional consultant to Indonesia on their national survey plans. CIPRB staff presented their work on surveys and interventions at last summer's IEA Congress in Bangkok, and at a special workshop hosted by TASC and supported by CDC/ Atlanta for regional program implementers. CIPRB is providing graduate level internships for qualified candidates at their facilities in Bangladesh.

TASC is proud to be assisting this new organization. For more information contact CIPRB at info@CIPRB.org

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  3. Swim for Life/ Bangladesh.  


With an estimated 17,000 drownings per year documented in the BHIS, drowning prevention is one of the biggest things needed in Bangladesh to help improve child survival for children of all ages. At least 5000 of these occur among children above the age of 5 who are old enough to learn to swim.

TASC and CIPRB launched Swim for Life / Bangladesh in September, 2005, as a way of jump starting efforts to prevent child drowning. 120 kids were initially enrolled in the program, but this number increased dramatically to 9000 in 2006 with the expansion of the program in the PRECISE project areas. Sixty new swimming instructors were trained and certified and an equal number of new training venues opened. This equates to   seventy five sites functioning during the season when there was adequate water in the ponds and the weather was not too cold for training.

This program is designed to teach survival swimming to children who are exposed to significant amounts of water in their normal daily environments. A graduate of the program is able to swim a distance of 25 meters and extract themselves from the water. The kids are also taught water safety lessons so that they know how to properly respond to another child who may be in trouble without putting themselves at risk.

A Community Swimming Instructor with students at a typical training site                    Successful graduates at play

A Community Swimming Instructor with students at a typical training site.
Successful graduates at play.

The training venues are local ponds which have been modified using local materials for safe use as instructional sites. The instructors are local volunteers, frequently older secondary school students, who receive training in water safety and instructions on how to teach basic swimming from master trainers from the Bangladesh Swimming Federation (BSF)

This is Survival Swimming using standards and benchmarks provided in consultation with the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia. Royal Life also provided consultation on the training program for the Community Swimming Instructors (CSIs) and has worked with the Bangladesh Swimming Federation (BSF) to upgrade the skills of their instructors and trainers.

   Royal Life instructors with BSF trainers during a clinic in Dhaka, 2006                  Royal Life instructors with BSF trainers during a clinic in Dhaka, 2006
                                 Royal Life instructors with BSF trainers during a clinic in Dhaka, 2006   

The CSIs also provide water safety messages to their community as part of the PRECISE Program ( see story below) because drowning prevention must also address the children who are too young to learn to swim, ages 4 and under. There are additional logical entry points into the communities for these water safety messages, but given the number of parents who frequently come to observe the training sessions, the training venues become a forum for getting the “supervision” message out to parents.

This year the program graduated 5938 children, 60% boys and 40 % girls. That is close to 600o children “vaccinated” against drowning in one small project area. It will take part of the next season to complete the backlog of register children in the project areas, but there has already been a demand for more venues from neighboring areas.

This program is a proto- type design which can be adapted to other countries in Asia. TASC hopes to use this model for a major assault on child drowning in Asia.
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  4. Prevention of Child Injury through Social Interventions (PRECISE) .  


CIPRB, UNICEF/Bangladesh, DGHS, and TASC are collaborating on a community based demonstration project which is providing injury interventions on a broad scale in rural and semi urban areas of Bangladesh. The PRECISE Project has just completed 18 months of activities (February 07), and begins its third project year in March.
The program has several critical elements addressing safety in homes, schools, the community, plus a special effort on water safety. For example, homes are made "child safe" and care givers taught better ways to supervise small children to avoid injury. In the schools, physical hazards are being reduced or removed from the campuses and a curriculum is being developed to help teach students to recognize and avoid injury risks.
The first few months in 2005-6 were spent training and organizing local staff including data collectors, community injury intervention promoters, and mothers who serve as day care providers. These are the people implementing the community interventions. Advocacy efforts run from the local villages through upper levels of government where over 400 injury prevention committees have been formed to assure the engagement of the population at all levels. The past 12 months has been marked with significant numbers of interventions getting into the field, and an active injury surveillance system being set up which collects data from over 100,000 households which contain over 319,000 children in the project areas. Differences between the intervention areas should start to show up later this year (2007).

A comprehensive advocacy and communications strategy was implemented in 2006 which identified all the stakeholders, targeted specific groups, analyzed desired behaviors, generated messages and created the tools to deliver the messages to the target audiences. Among the materials developed and initiated in the filed were 3 thirty minute Docudramas, 3 interactive popular theatre productions along with 3 production teams to stage the shows, plus various traditional  educational tools like posters, flipcharts, and booklets.

The home safety program saw over 42,000 households visited every month for 11 months, (a total of 465,000 visits), with home owners given advice and encouragement on how to remove injury risks from their homes.

Health worker using a safety chart at a courtyard meeting
Health worker using a safety chart at a courtyard meeting
A simple wooden gate keeps kids away from the cooking fire.
A simple wooden gate keeps kids away from the cooking fire.
Créche mother teaching the children
        Créche mother teaching the children

Fifty one community crèches (day care centers) provided safe environments for over 1000 children for 4-6 hours per day while mothers took care of other responsibilities. These sites became focal points for educational activities, first for the children who were given the opportunity for early childhood development, and for the parents to receive injury prevention messages. These centers were fully subscribed almost immediately, and demand for them exceeds the programs planned capacities.

TASC, UNICEF/ Bangladesh, and CIPRB are continuing support for the program in 2007.  (Please see Projects & Programs page for additional details).



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