Dhaka: Minister of Health and Family Welfare Zahid Malek has claimed that although infectious diseases are under control in the country, non-infectious diseases are constantly increasing.
He said, Bangladesh is now free of corona.
In addition, there are no more deaths due to Corona. The number of infectious diseases in the country is also very low. There are no more than five to ten infectious diseases in the country. However, non-communicable diseases like cancer, kidney and heart diseases are constantly increasing, which has become a matter of concern.
He said these things while speaking as the chief guest at an event organized at Sheraton Hotel in Banani of the capital on the occasion of World TB (Tuberculosis) Day 2023 on Wednesday (March 22) noon. The event was jointly organized by USAID, the National Tuberculosis Control Program of the Department of Health and the International Center for Tuberculosis Research Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).
A family story from Sunamganj, Sylhet was presented in the program on how to control tuberculosis. Besides, puppet dance was organized in the event to raise awareness about tuberculosis.
Referring to the decentralization of health services, Minister Zahid Malek said that eight hospitals are being built in the entire country at a cost of around three thousand crore rupees. There is a burn unit in Dhaka. Similarly, we are setting up these burn units in other seven divisions of the country.
He said that Bangladesh is one of the 10 countries in the world where TB disease is found. A statistic shows that where poverty is high, the number of TB cases is also high. About 1.5 million people die of tuberculosis worldwide every year.
He also said that if we talk about success, then the number of patients cured of tuberculosis in our country is about 95 percent. As of 2007, 54 per lakh patients died of tuberculosis in the country. Today that number is down to less than half. In order to understand, Bangladesh has achieved a lot of success in controlling tuberculosis.
While 10-12 people died daily due to corona virus, around 100 people died of tuberculosis every day in Bangladesh, the minister said. There are several TB hospitals in the country for TB control. Now tuberculosis can be tested for free in almost all hospitals of the country. Tuberculosis testing is available in all upazilas of the country. Besides, TB drugs are provided free of charge throughout the country. And this drug for TB disease is made in Bangladesh.
Regarding what we should do about tuberculosis, the minister said, we need to increase our awareness to control tuberculosis. It is often seen that no one says anything out of shame when they have tuberculosis. It spreads the infection more. Therefore, if the symptoms of tuberculosis appear, the nearest tuberculosis treatment center should be checked as soon as possible. So that you can protect yourself as well as the people around you.
Health Minister Zahid Malek said that we did not understand how important healthcare is before Corona. Because without health services, all our institutions are stagnant. I believe that if we all work together, we can completely end this disease of tuberculosis. Also, I would request the members of Parliament to visit the hospitals regularly in your area, so that you can take action if there is any kind of irregularity.
Director of the Department of Health (MBDC) Professor Dr. Kazi Shafiqul Halim said, we need to do more research to make the TB program sustainable. Besides, I think that the infrastructures we have should be used properly.
In the speech of the special guest, the secretary of the health service department of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Md. Anwara Hossain Howladar said, we have some errors at the upazila level regarding tuberculosis. But we can overcome these errors very quickly. The equipment used in the upazila for tuberculosis testing will be upgraded. I hope, with everyone’s collective efforts, we can prevent tuberculosis like corona.
The program was chaired by the Director General of the Department of Health. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam.
Advocate Md. Deputy Speaker of Bangladesh National Parliament attended the event as a special guest. Shamsul Haque Tuku, USAID Bangladesh Infectious Disease Team Leader Dr. Samina Chowdhury and the executive director of ICDDR, Dr. Tahmid Ahmed and others.
Bangladesh Time: 1529 hours, March 22, 2023