Ministry Activities throughout November'2012

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 procedures.

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.

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