PM urges int’l community to help combat deadly diseases

PM urges int’l community to help combat deadly diseases

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the international community to work together with commitment, determination and solidarity to combat deadly diseases like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis saying that these are preventable and treatable diseases.“I firmly believe that AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are preventable and treatable. It needs commitment, determination and solidarity … let’s make a pledge to work together towards that end,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing the opening session of the 5th Global Fund Replenishment Conference at Hyatt Regency Montreal hereon Friday.
The two-day conference got underway aimed at further gearing up efforts to end the epidemics of the world’s three most devastating diseases — AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria — by 2030.
The Global Fund is the world’s main funding body for activities related to the prevention and treatment of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It supports programmes all over the world, with a focus on those areas where the burden of disease is the heaviest.
Sheikh Hasina said health security is a critical aspect of development and access to healthcare is critically important for society. “It depends on poverty alleviation, food security and even climate change management,” she said adding that development of an equitable, affordable and sustainable health system for all remains a challenge,” she said.
Considering these, the Prime Minister mentioned, her government attaches top priority to health security by investing in health infrastructures, products and services.
She also sought the Global Fund support to her government’s strides to ensure health security for all the people of the country. “My government attaches high priority to health security by investing in health infrastructures, products and services … we expect Global Fund to support us in our efforts,” she told her audience.
Reiterating her government’s commitment towards empowering and engaging girls and women, particularly in the health sector, the Prime Minister said it has given utmost importance to women’s education, zero tolerance to violence against women and reaching healthcare services to them to this end.
Hasina said the government made education free for girls up to 12 grade and introduced various types of stipends for them as education is the most powerful tool for empowering women.
About violence, she said, Bangladesh has been maintaining ‘zero tolerance’ against all sorts of violence and discrimination against women as it is seriously impacting physical and mental health of women.
To serve poor and marginalised sections of people, her government has set up more than 16,000 clinics and union health centres to deliver quality health services at the grassroots level, Hasina said.
The Prime Minister also pointed out the adoption of a landmark agenda for sustainable development in 2015 with a vision to create a poverty-free healthy global society.
Mentioning her government’s move towards elimination of malaria by 2020, she said Bangladesh is maintaining low prevalence rate in HIV/AIDS for the last two decades and several institutional approaches have been undertaken in this regard.
She termed the role of international partners, including Global Fund, in strengthening Bangladesh’s health sector as a significant contribution.
Global Fund also supported the implementation of a number of projects in Bangladesh that eventually enhanced the quality of lives affected by malaria, TB and HIV, she added.
Hasina said Bangladesh now stands out in achieving MDGs, including health-related targets, despite capacity and resource constraints.
She said the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 70 percent while the under-five mortality rate has reduced by 66 percent and the infant mortality rate by 62 percent during last one and a half decades.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Togo President Faure Gnassingb, Executive Director of the Global Fund Mark R Dybul and Secretary-General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie Michaelle Jean also spoke, while Canadian Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau moderated the session.

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