Project – Upscaling RHCC

Avoidable Deaths Network

December 2020 to Ongoing – Upscaling RHCC by Developing a Protocol for Low-Budget Reproductive Health Kit

In humanitarian crises, maternal deaths are a real concern as they are almost double the global average. 99% of the world’s maternal deaths occur in developing countries so the United Nations’ Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction urged national and international organisations to promote effective disaster risk management through improved ‘resilience in the health systems’ by 2030 (UN, 2015). Within Bangladesh, the Inter Agency Reproductive Health (RH) Kit 8, which enables miscarriage management and post-abortion care during disasters and crises (UNFPA, 2014), are not available due to its high cost and lengthy procurement process. This Kit is vital in reducing maternal mortalities and morbidities in disaster contexts, as such it directly contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing).

In light of the above, funded by IPPF’s Designated Regional Funds, this project aims to develop a low-budget reproductive health kit for disasters and humanitarian crises and identify the pathways to integrate this kit in the Government of Bangladesh’s reproductive health system, and in other low-and middle-income countries. To make the RH Kit available in disaster-prone primary health care facilities in Bangladesh, this Kit must be made available in the first place, and at a reasonable cost. To do so, this project will address the following questions:

  1. What is the process involved in developing a low-budget RH Kit for disasters and humanitarian crises in Bangladesh?
  2. Who are the stakeholders that can support and validate the protocol for uptake?
  3. What should the Kit constitute to make it cost-effective and to align with the drug policy and guideline of the Government of Bangladesh?
  4. How can the Kit be integrated in the Government of Bangladesh’s health system?

This project is a follow-on from the previous research project titled: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities Around Reproductive Health in Disasters in Belkuchi, Bangladesh, which was funded by IPPF’s ‘Innovation Programme Fund’ and IPPF’s South Asia Region Office ‘SPRINT Initiative’.

This new project is led by Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett (University of Leicester) in collaboration with the research partners: Dr Fariha Hassen, (BSMMU), Mr Maqbul Bhuiyan (DMA), Mrs Nimisha Goswami (IPPF-SAR) and Dr Murali Mohan Reddy Gopireddy (IPPF-SAR). The Research Assistants are: Dr Sumaiya Tasneem Khan (BSMMU) and Mrs Denise Corsel (University of Leicester).


22 December 2020 – The last meeting of the year took place to discuss the progress of the project. So far, 37 SRH-related organisations have been identified and 37 different existing RH Kits.

16 December 2020 – The project agreement between the University of Leicester and DMA have been finalised.

9 December 2020 – The Core Team had a meeting with IPPF. The literature review process of a i) inductive-deductive; and ii) deductive-inductive (iterative) was decided to be best for this project.

7 December 2020 – The first Core Team meeting was held with the University of Leicester, BSMMU and DMA in attendance. It was agreed that consultations with key stakeholders would be held, instead of interviews.

3 December 2020 – The project commenced. Currently, the project agreements between the research partners are being finalised and the literature review for this study is being undertaken.