Stay alert, keep surroundings clean to prevent dengue: PM

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Star file photo

Terming the dengue outbreak a big problem, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged the people of the country to remain aware about the mosquito-borne disease and keep their houses and surroundings clean to check the breeding of aedes mosquitoes.

"The dengue prevalence is still used to be believed that these elite aedes mosquitoes are seen in posh areas... now they've spread elsewhere many districts. So, we’ll have to remain more alert about it," she added.

Sheikh Hasina said this while exchanging Eid greetings with officials at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Dengue is not only seen in Bangladesh, but also in many neighbouring countries in South Asia and even South East Asia, the prime minister said.

In other countries like the Philippines, it has turned epidemic forcing them to declare emergency, Hasina added.

The prime minister extended thanks to her office as it has always been active over the dengue issue.

She said the Health Ministry, the Local Government Ministry and all other agencies concerned remain active to deal the dengue problem.

The city corporations have also been trying to rein in the dengue, Hasina said adding that all the authorities concerned have taken proper measures to deal with the problem.

About the country's economic progress, the prime minister said the GDP growth reached 8.10 percent and the government has fixed a target in the national budget for the current fiscal year to achieve an 8.2 percent growth. The government has a target to reach the double digit, she added.

Mentioning that it is tough to accelerate the GDP growth from 8 percent, Hasina directed the government officials to work harder to do that.

The prime minister stressed the need for the revival of some pro-people programmes like 'Ghore Phera Project', ‘Shanti Nibash Project' and 'Oboshor Project' introduced by her previous governments.

"We had taken these schemes for the welfare of people. But their tenures have expired. So, we'll have to re-launch the projects in the interest of people," she said.

While talking about her government's steps for curbing corruption, the prime minister said those who take and give bribe both are equally guilty. "We could have accomplished many works faster if steps had been taken keeping that in mind."

She asked her office to strengthen its monitoring so that the physical works on development projects can be started right after the recession of floodwater.

"Since we’ve a good set-up, I think our office will have to strengthen the monitoring so that every ministry can prioritise works holding meetings right now.... and we can start the physical works (on the development projects taken for this fiscal year) immediately after the flood," she said.

She said the Prime Minister’s Office should give a special attention to taking preparations so that the projects can be implemented timely.

Noting that the government has undertaken various development projects in the current budget, Hasina said different ministries should now prioritise works as per the development projects keeping it in mind that they get time to take preparations during flood.

The prime minister said the country witnesses flood every year right after the national budget is placed. "So, paper works on the development projects can be completed during the period of flood."

Prime Minister’s advisers HT Imam, Dr Mashiur Rahman and Dr Tawfique-E-Elahi Chowdhury, Principal Coordinator on SDG Affairs at PMO Md Abul Kalam Azad, PM’s Press Secretary Ihasanul Karim, PMO Secretary Md Sajjadul Hassan and PM’s Speech Writer M Nazrul Islam were, among others, present at the function moderated by PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman.