What is it about?

Essential Public Health Functions (EPHFs) are one of the core agendas of the World Health Organization to strengthen the health system of a country. The human resources that ensure the EPHF at different tiers of the health system need to be strengthened. This qualitative research examines the current challenges of performing EPHF in Bangladesh and therefore advocates for policy change to strengthen the public health workforce in Bangladesh.

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Why is it important?

Legacy of colonial policy, public health, and curative health services are combined in the health system of Bangladesh. In this juxtaposition, the Essential Public Health Functions (EPHFs) and the human resources doing the EPHF are often neglected. Even, there is no clear definition of what constitutes the EPHF in the Bangladesh context. This paper is, therefore, an important piece to contribute to the discourse of what constitutes the EPHF in Bangladesh. Plus, by revealing the challenges of ensuring the EPHF this paper also advocates for evidence-based policy formulation to strengthen the Public Health Workforce.


Recognizing the EPHFs in the Bangladesh context is crucial. Revisiting the job descriptions and strengthening appropriate public health services at different tiers in the country's health system should be prioritized to achieve health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Dipika shankar Bhattacharyya
University of Waterloo

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This page is a summary of: Challenges of performing essential public health functions by the physicians at leadership positions in peripheral level government health system in Bangladesh: A qualitative exploratory study, PLoS ONE, May 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268026.
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