PM seeks int'l support to improve healthcare
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today identified five areas where international partners can extend their support to improve the country's universal health system.
She made the suggestions while speaking at the UNGA High-level Meeting on "Universal Health Coverage" at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The first area she mentioned is related to sustaining development assistance for children, mothers, and adolescents' health and addressing migrants' health and the climate-health nexus.
Her second suggestion was to share expertise in developing an inter-operable, data-driven Health Information System with Health ID for all.
She also sought support to help develop a robust health insurance scheme suited to the Bangladesh context.
The PM's fourth suggestion was to enhance health sector investments, including in fast-growing health-tech start-ups.
In her fifth proposal, she called for compliance with TRIP obligations on patent disclosure and technology transfer for protecting public health.
Hasina said Universal Health Coverage is one of the most ambitious yet achievable SDG targets. In Bangladesh, she said, the government has a constitutional obligation to ensure healthcare access to all.
"We have established a nationwide healthcare system, from community clinics to specialised medical hospitals. We work closely with non-government partners at the grassroots," she noted.
She mentioned that the growing health sector investments have paid dividends. The government has reduced maternal mortality to 163 per 100,000 live births. Neonatal mortality has decreased to 15 and under-five mortality to 28 per 1,000 live births.
"Our emphasis on child immunisation has achieved universal coverage. Our average life expectancy is now close to 73 years," she told the meeting.
Hasina also informed that Bangladesh has been recognised as one of the world's best at managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are now working on high alert to combat dengue," she added.
She said that the government is introducing advanced treatments for cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. She said the government is promoting a "One Health Approach" to prepare against antimicrobial resistance.
"We are raising awareness about nutrition, vision impairment, and drowning," she said.
"I strongly believe that no one should suffer from out-of-pocket health expenses. Our focus remains on improving service quality with a trained workforce," said the PM.
"In Bangladesh, we meet 98 percent of our pharmaceutical needs through domestic production," she said.