PM opens ‘Measles-Rubella Vaccination’ campaign
On 26th January 2014 at the opening ceremony of “Measles-Rubella Vaccination” in Gonobhaban, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated that the government of Bangladesh is working with a goal of eradicating measles, controlling rubella, and retaining the polio-free status of Bangladesh. She also expressed that her government is promise bound to bring down the infant and maternal mortality rate substantially as well as to eliminate measles and control rubella to face the challenges of the 21st century. At the inauguration of the country's biggest vaccination campaign, Sheikh Hasina called upon the parents, guardians, teachers, public representatives and others to cooperate in making the vaccination campaign a success. It is also needed to ensure that children around them take the vaccine along with their own kids. The main objective of the nationwide vaccination campaign is to continue the country’s polio-free status along side eliminating measles and rubella diseases. The vaccination campaign will run from January 25-30 at all primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, madrasahs, maktabs, mosques and other non-formal educational institutions and about 5.20 crore children will be given measles-rubella vaccine while 2.20 crore children the polio vaccine. Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Health Secretary MN Neazuddin, National Professor Dr MR Khan, Director General of Health Prof Dr Khandakar Sifayetullah, and Bangladesh Medical Association President Prof Mahmud Hasan and Secretary General Prof Iqbal Arsnal were present in the program. The program ended with the hope that with the sincere efforts of all, it will be possible to increase the immunization rate of measles and rubella to 95 percent by 2016 and as well as to maintain the measles’ elimination status of the children and bring down the rate of rubella disease to 90 percent in comparison to 2010.
Malnutrition causes higher rates of mortality in mother, child: Experts
On 10th January 2014 at the Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN) nationwide launching of ‘Dissemination of Nutrition Activities Mapping across Sectors in Bangladesh’ was organized by the National Nutrition Services (NNS). The director of IPHN and line director of NNS, Dr Mohammad Hedayetul Islam was the chair and Secretary of the health and family welfare ministry MM Neazuddin was the chief guest in the program. MM Neazuddin stated that suffering from malnutrition is not because of lack of money or poverty only, but due to shortage of knowledge as well. He emphasized that the awareness campaign is very important for disseminating the knowledge on nutrition among the people and also noted that media can play a vital role to focus on nutrition issues for creating awareness and enhancing knowledge. He also urged all to work for the slum dwellers to improve their health condition. The health and nutrition experts present in the program expressed concern over malnutrition and under-nutrition, which are responsible for various types of health-related problems, including stunting, low birth weight, and high rates of mother and child mortality. They also pointed out that 45 percent of deaths of children less than five years of age are caused by under-nutrition which is also responsible for fetal growth restriction. Prof. Dr Khondhaker Md Shefyetullah, director general of the directorate of health services, Ganesh Chandra Sarkar, director general of the directorate of family planning, Erica Roy Khetran, country director of Helen Keller International—Bangladesh, Kathrin Tegenfeldt, country director of FHI 360, Stephen F Herbaly, deputy director of the office of population, health, nutrition and education of USAID, also spoke in the occasion. As nutrition, health and family planning are closely related, so it is needed to place emphasis on them to derive maximum benefits. The mapping to identify priority areas, gaps and opportunities was conducted by the NNS, the directorate general of health services, IPHN and the Government of Bangladesh, with assistance from the USAID-funded FHI 360, Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA-III) project and Helen Keller International..