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The people of Bangladesh's Taraganj [tah-rah-gahnj] region will
have better medical care, thanks to a U.S.-Bangladesh Medical Civil
Action Program that that opened August 18 at the Taraganj Regional
Clinic. This joint U.S.-Bangladesh humanitarian assistance program will
provide free basic medical and dental care to over ten-thousand
Bangladeshis in the Rangpur [ranj-poor]District during the ten-day
exercise at three clinics in Rangpur.
Medical care is provided by the U.S. Navy and Marines Corps, in
cooperation with the Bangladesh Army Medical Detachment. The purpose of
the exercise is to provide humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh as
well as to further enhance interoperability between the U.S. and
The Medical Civil Action Program, or MECAP, is just one of the many
ways the U.S. is assisting development in Bangladesh. After attending
the MEDCAP opening, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh James Moriarty met
with students and faculty at the Sathgara Baitul Mukarram
Kamil[shaht-gahr BYE-tool mook-rahm] Madrassa in Rangpur. This madrassa
has consistently been selected by the Bangladesh government as one of
the top ten in Bangladesh. Ambassador Moriarty presented a selection of
books and materials on democratic governance to the madrassa. The U.S.
government continues to support education programs for secondary and
higher secondary level madrassa students through the Access English
Micro Scholarship Program and also provides training for madrassa
teachers and Imams.
Ambassador Moriarty also visited a U.S. government-funded Social
Marketing Company Blue Star Pharmacy. The Social Marketing Company's
Blue Star Social Franchising Program is a network of 3,650
community-based private health service providers, including trained
graduate and non-graduate medical practitioners, nurses, midwives and
pharmacists. Supported by the United States Agency for International
Development, Blue Star promotes awareness and use of socially
beneficial services and products. Blue Star also provides family
planning counseling and dispenses family planning products.
The U.S. government has provided more than five-billion dollars in
development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. That assistance
includes support for free, fair and credible elections and transparent
and accountable governance. It also provides assistance for a better
educated, healthier and more productive Bangladeshi people.