Health dev stressed for overall upliftStaff Correspondent
Government officials and experts on Wednesday said it would not be possible to attain sustainable overall development in any country without development of human health.
On the first day of a two-day global meet held at the Hotel Ruposhi Bangla in the capital, they also said the Bangladeshi people would have to raise their voice in the upcoming Rio+20 Conference in June.
The programme, titled ‘Determinants of sustainable development: road to Rio+20’, has been organised by Eminence, non-governmental organisation, working on various health issues.
The programme aims to collect recommendations on how heath can be a focus for Rio+20 actions on non-communicable diseases, nutrition, maternal and child health, urban health, climate change, environment and water sanitation.
While inaugurating the meet, food and disaster management minister, Muhammad Abdur Razzaq said the idea of sustainable development would make no sense with millions of people living in hunger and malnutrition while health, nutrition, food security and food safety issues should also be included in the post-millennium development goal agenda.
He said the key issues of human health like nutrition, maternal and child health, climate change, urbanisation and health, non-communicable diseases; water and sanitation in general have found little or no room in the much talked-of Rio+20 summit.
‘For this, we are here to raise our voice demanding inclusion of these health issues in the global summit,’ he added.
Health and family welfare minister Mozibur Rahman Fakir said issue of rapid urbanisation, health risks from environmental pollution and hazards, strengthening basic health care services, promotion of health education, provision of essential drugs should be at the forefront of the sustainable development programme.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University vice-chancellor Pran Gopal Datta said for social and economic development, socio-political sustainability was needed to be ensured by the government.
The speakers also said in Bangladesh still female children are victims of discrimination in terms of getting food and other facilities in families while child and maternal health was the most important issue for any country’s sustainable development.
The meeting was attended, among others, by director of Institute of Public Health Nutrition of Directorate General of Health Services Ekhlasur Rahman, health and family welfare ministry additional secretary Makhduma Nargis, BSMMU pro-vice-chancellor and technical committee co-chair of the programme Muhammad Shahidullah, Eminence senior adviser MM Reza, Centre for Women and Child Health chairman MQK Talukder and Nijera Kori executive director Khushi Kabir were present at the programme.
The partner organisations of the programme are BSMMU, Dhaka University, Health Foundation, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Medical Research Council, CWCH, EngenderHealth, Non-Communicable Diseases Forum, Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network, Bangladesh Urban Health Network, Bangladesh Medical Association, NCD Action Network, NCD Child, Marie Stopes, CMH and Bangladesh Paediatric Association.
A three-year and worldwide global campaign ‘Voice for Health’ was also initiated at the meet to push all agencies concerned like the government, civil society, health workers, media, affluent families and affected families to give health and determinants of health the required importance from 2015 and beyond.
The Rio+20 Conference will take place in Brazil in June 20-22 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro.
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