Int’l confce urges Rural-urban planning integration

Int’l confce urges Rural-urban planning integration

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The 12th International Urban Health Conference ended in Dhaka on Wednesday calling for the development of national-level health policy that integrates planning for rural and urban areas, and recognising the importance of city and local level data and action to advance urban health.
The global conference organised by the only international private institution International Society for Urban Health has encouraged actions in a total of nine areas which include:Specific reference to the critical importance of the health of urban dwellers to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the planned political declaration that will preface the Goals;
Mainstreaming consideration of the unique opportunities and challenges of urban environments across the SDGs;
Recognition of the pressing need for evidence-based and cost effective interventions that address the effects of urban diversity, complexity, density and disparities on the social and structural determinants of health in order to achieve the health targets outlined in SDG Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;
Inclusion of a commitment that the solutions chosen have a positive impact on human health and do not adversely affect health of people in cities, in the targets for SDG Goal 11Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Development of national-level health policy that integrates planning for rural and urban areas, and recognizes the importance of city and local level data and action to advance urban health.
Inclusion of targets and indicators to implement SDGs at the national level that reflect progress towards urban health and health equity;
Incorporation of key tools to advance the health of people in cities, including resource mobilization for capacity building, applied research and strengthening governance for urban health, in the outcome documents of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (2015), The United Nations Climate Change Conference (2015) and Habitat III (2016);
Incorporation of expertise from the global professional and academic health communities in seeking to define, understand, and address the major challenges of global urban development into the intergovernmental process leading up to the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), to take place in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016; and
Acknowledgment of the role of health as both input for and outcome of development, particularly the broad interplay between urban design, planning and management, and urban health and health equity, in the New Urban Agenda that will emerge from Habitat III.
On the 4th and last day of the conference a total of 20 sessions were held. There were 6 special sessions, 10 breakout sessions and one plenary session along with the closing ceremony. The most important part of today was the ‘Dhaka Declaration’ by the organising committee on post 15 development agenda.
A special session organised on health system perspective of urban health financing and governance with the theme ‘Strengthening Governance for Urban Health.’ The session was sponsored by Abts Associates. It was chaired by Mursaleena Islam, Resident Senior Economist, Abt Associates and USAID’s Health Finance and Governance project.
Dr. Shamim Hayder from Eminence presented a community based approach of involving community in health care financing while the other speakers of the session talked about various aspects of health financing and equity. Another special session conducted on urban health care and public health service provision, which was presided over by National Professor Dr. Shahla Khatun.
A special session on urban governance was conducted where the Mayor of Dhaka South Mr. Sayeed Khokon presented as chief guest. He talked about different implications of governance on urban health and his thinking towards making Dhaka a livable city. Honorable Mayor of Dhaka North Mr. Annisul Huq was also present as a chief guest in another special session of the conference which was on fostering healthy and prosperous communities through effective collaboration with local governments and public health partners.
The updated global strategy of women, children and adolescents health in post 15 era was discussed in a special session which was sponsored by PMNCH. How USAID and Bangladesh meeting urban health needs were discussed over a session which was chaired by Mr. M.M. Reza, Chief Technical Advisor, PMMU, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh. Beside these special sessions, there were 10 breakout sessions conducted on different urban health and governance issues in international and local perspective. Where the International Society of Urban Health (ISUH) and the participants in conference call for recognition of urban health as a priority in sustainable development, including in the proposed sustainable development goals, targets and indicators for the post-2015 development agendas.
A special session on the post 2015 sustainable development: issues of urban health were held where information minister Hasanul Haq Inu, was the chief guest. Here, Honorable member of the Parliament Abu Sayeed Al Mahmood Swapon presented as special guest. Famous economist of the country, Mr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad presided the session.
The closing technical way forward session was chaired by Jo Boufford, President, New York Academy of medicine, USA. Pankaj Nath, Member of the National Parliament, Barisal-4 Constituency was present there as chief guest. Ashoke Madhab Roy, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division (LGD), Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of the people’s Republic of Bangladesh.
After the closing technical way forward session, a closing ceremony was held. It was chaired by Mr. Abdul Malek, Secretary, Local Government Division, Ministry of Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives, Bangladesh. Co-Chair of the organising committee, Prof. Shah Monir Hossain offered the welcome speech on behalf of the organising committee.
Honorable State Minister Mr. Zahid Maleque, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh was presented there as chief guest. The session was also addressed by his excellency Mr. Robert Gibson CMG, British High Commissioner and Mr. Kazuhiko Higuchi, Country Director, Asian Development Bank, Bangladesh Resident Mission.
The closing ceremony was facilitated by Mr. M. M. Reza, Former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Member Secretary, Advisory Committee, International Conference on Urban Health 2015. – News Desk

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