Bangladesh Government Activities November 2012

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare:

National Workshop on Exclusive Breastfeeding

National Workshop on Exclusive Breastfeeding was held on 15 November 2012 at Spectra Convention Center. Senior Secretary Md Humayun Kabir was the Chief Guest and Director General Professor Dr. Khondaker Md Shefyetullah was the Special Guest. Senior Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Md Humayun Kabir made an announcement that, Bangladesh will soon have a stricter law to stop 'aggressive marketing' of baby food companies .The ministry started the process to replace the 1984 Breastmilk Substitute Ordinance (BMS) three years back as experts suggested a stronger law to support under-2 feeding practices in Bangladesh where nearly 50 percent children are malnourished.
Celebrating ‘World Prematurity Day’

To raise awareness about the dangers of premature births and what can be done to prevent them, a Seminar was held in 17th November’2012 on the occasion of ‘World Prematurity Day’ in BSMMU. As a result of the seminar, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare committed to provide strategic direction to program directors to incorporate steroid injections for women in preterm labour and Kangaroo Mother Care (wrapping preterm babies in skin-to-skin contact with their mother for warmth and easier breastfeeding), through their operational plans.

Inter Ministerial Conference of PPD

The two-day international conference on "population and development" was started  on  10th  November emphasizing the high unmet needs for contraceptives in developing countries. The conference was inaugurated by Honorable Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. Health Minister Professor A.F. M Ruhal Haque,  attended as the chief guest at closing ceremony. He demanded that the success stories in developing countries should be documented and shared among nations to promote health, family planning and reproductive health issues. He also urged all stakeholders to turn dhaka declaration commitments into programmes to meet the needs of people. The closing ceremony was presided over by Honerable Minister for Health and Family Welfare of India, Ghulam Nobi Azad. Chinese Vice Minister for National Population and Family Planning Commission Chen Li delivend speech in the programme as guest. Experts told that Bangladesh should have a planning for its population as it would be stabilized at around 200 million by 2030. Bangladesh should focus on issues like promoting long-term acting and permanent birth control methods, stopping early marriage, providing lessons and information of sexual and reproductive health to the adolescents and reaching hard-to-reach areas including urban slums with contraceptive methods. A number of delegates from 25 countries joined the Conference of the PPD including UNFPA Representative Arthur Erken, Population scientist Dr. Ubaidur Rob.

Bangladesh-Turkey joint health week begins

The first Bangladesh-Turkey joint health week began in the country at the city’s Institute of Neuroscience auditorium on  4 November. Health and Family Affairs Minister AFM Ruhal Haque inaugurated the health week. The initiative has been taken in cooperation with the Health and Family Welfare Minister of Bangladesh and Turkey government. A 25-member team comprising doctors from Turkey will train the country’s doctors on cardio-surgery, general surgery, child disease, eye disease and many others. At the same time, the experts will provide services to the general patients in different places of the country. State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ministry Dr.Cap. (Rtd)  Mujibur Rahman Fakir, Senior Secretary Md Humayun Kabir, TurkeyAmbassador to Bangladesh HEM Vakur Erkul, were present among other and additional Director General of the Health Directorate Prof. Dr. A F M Saiful Islam, presided over the programme.

Bone marrow transplant unit by next June

BY the June next year, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry will launched ‘the highly sophisticated’ bone marrow transplantation unit. The good news for the thousands of cancer patients who cannot afford the costly procedure abroad came when the government signed an agreement on technical cooperation with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), USA at the Secretariat on November 4. The centre will be set up at the new building of state-run Dhaka College Hospital. Under the agreement MGH would help Bangladesh from setting up the unit to training up every staff of the technology-dependent sophisticated procedure.’

The government will supply free drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh:

A new plan beginning in December, the government will supply free drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh
Under a new plan beginning in December, the government will supply free drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh. Bangladesh government have already bought those 'expensive' doses worth over Tk 40 million needed for a year to suppress the virus and stop the progression of the disease to nearly 1,000 HIV positives currently on treatment in Bangladesh. According to Dr Md Abdul Waheed, Line Director of National AIDS/STD Programme (NASP), The drugs will be made available at five big hospitals initially. People with HIV/AIDS now get the antiretroviral therapy (ART), a combination of antiretroviral drugs, free under the project of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) which will be exhausted on Nov 30. The patients receive the drugs from the organisations that work for them. But there are apprehensions that they might not get the free drugs after the project ends.
 According to NASP, Tk 450 million has been kept in the budget for the ongoing five-year Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Programme (HPNSDP) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. The latest official figures released in last year's World Aids Day, December 1, put the number of HIV positives at 2,533 and AIDS patients at 1,101 in Bangladesh where 325 died of AIDS since the first case was detected in 1989. According to the ninth HIV surveillance 2011 report, HIV prevalence is still less than 1 percent among the high-risk  sex workers, injecting drug users, gays and transgender people  in Bangladesh. But experts always keep Bangladesh on HIV-alert as it shares a large porous border with India, home to more than 1.5 million people with HIV.

Ministry of Agriculture

Inaugural ceremony of 'Agricultural Policy Support Unit (APSU)“

An inaugural ceremony of 'Agricultural Policy Support Unit (APSU) of Ministry of Agriculture was held at the Sech Bhaban on 4 November. Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury was speaking as the chief guest and Food minister Abdur Razzak was present as the special guest in the programme. The agriculture ministry in support with the USAID and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) organized the programme.

The unit will act as a think-tank of the ministry and assist to take sharp and quick decisions. APSU functions as a reservoir of information and equipped with modern information and communication technologies that connect it to regional (districts), national and global level information sources. IFPRI will assist APSU to work with partners with national agricultural research system, universities and NGOs to feed into the policy process.

Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock

A two-day annual conference of the district fisheries officers (DFOs)

The government has set a target to increase the fish export to US$ 1 billion and the fish intake to 56 grams per head every day from 36 grams by 2015. With that in view, a two-day annual conference of the district fisheries officers (DFOs) began in the capital on  on 14 November .

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas inaugurated the conference as the chief guest in the auditorium of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) at Farmgate. Speaking on the occasion, the minister urged the DFOs to help the government achieve the target within the next three years by working sincerely and properly carrying out their responsibilities.
Mentioning that the contribution of the fisheries sector to the country’s total national income is 4.43 percent while to export earnings 2.73 percent, he said the country’s uplift is synonymous with fisheries development as this sector is considerably contributing to the growth of GDP by playing a key role to keep the wheel of the national economy moving.
Abdul Latif also mentioned that the development of rural economy largely depends upon fisheries sector as it creates huge employment opportunities for the unemployed youths every year. He informed that a manpower infrastructure for the sector is awaiting approval to reduce the shortage of workforce.
The conference is highlighting the projects taken by the government to set up more fish farms, hatcheries and safe sanctuaries across the country, giving identity cards to fishermen, ensuring availability of formalin-free fish etc. Syed Arif Azad, Director General of the Department of Fisheries, chaired the inaugural session.

A conference of Bangladesh Small Matsyajibi Jele Samity

The government has increased rice allocation for the fishermen to 30 kg a month in a bid to inspire themto refrain from catching jhatka from the rivers. The government, under its special VGF programme, earlier used to distribute 10kg rice to the fishermen every month. Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzak made the disclosure while speaking at the 7th annual conference of Bangladesh Small Matsyajibi Jele Samity at Mahanagor Natya Manch in Dhaka 15  November.

Md Abdul Latif Biswas, Minister for Fisheries formally inaugurated the conference. The food minister said the government has been working for maintaining nutritional standards for the people side by side ensuring food security in the country. The main ingredient is protein that mainly comes from fishes, he said adding fish resources can meet nutritional requirement of the people. “Fishermen of the country can play significant role in fulfilling the protein demand to the people,” he added.

Md Abdul Latif said the government has taken up a survey programme for listing actual fishermen of the country. They will get digital identity cards through this programme, he also said. Md Israfil Pandit, president of the organisation chaired the function. Abdul Hai, MP, State Minister for Fisheries, Md Mahbubur Rahman, MP, State Minister for Water Resources, Md Younus, MP and Anwar Hossain Sikder, general secretary of the organisation spoke at the annual conference.

Ministry of Food and Disaster Management

A  two day  workshop on research evaluation  

 A  two day  workshop on research evaluation  was held  at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman  Agriculture University Auditorium, Gazipur. Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzak  was present in the  inaugural session .  He said  present government  has achieve success in food security in last 4 years.  VC Dr. Md. Abdul Mannan Akand and  200  other participants   including university teachers and scientist from different agriculture institute  were present.  In 4 technical  session  21 research papers were presented .