’60pc urban poor deprived of healthcare service’

DHAKA, Dec 20, 2016 (BSS) - Experts, lawmakers and health officials here today stressed the need for an integrated policy and an action plan for primary healthcare of the urban poor to achieve the sustainable development goal (SDG) by 2030.

Although more than 60 per cent of the urban people are living in the slums in poverty and they have no access to the primary healthcare service as it is being provided under a project run by the NGOs particularly for mother and children.

They said this while participating in a national dialogue organized by All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of the Jatiya Sangsad at a city hotel.

"There is no primary healthcare infrastructure in the urban areas and the total primary healthcare service is operated by the non-government organizations under the healthcare service development project which is not adequate," said Dr AM Zakir Hossain, former Director of Primary Health Service and Disease Control under the Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS).

Even, according to the rules of the constitution, the health and family welfare ministry is responsible for total health care services and in the city areas it is under the city corporation as per the city corporation act of 2009, but the urban health care service is being operated under the project, said Dr Hossain in his keynote paper.

State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Malik spoke as the chief guest while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Dipu Moni MP chaired the function.

APPG's secretary general Shisir Shil moderated the programme while Director General of Concern World Wide, Bangladesh AKM Musa gave the introductory speech.

Although severe malnutrition rate of the children has been declined drastically to 33 per cent from the earlier 43 per cent in 2004, he malnutrition problem should be addressed properly so the country can reach the sustainable development goal (SDG) by 2030, said Dr M Azmal Hossain, chief health care officer of Dhaka North City Corporation.

Presently, one-third of the total population is living in the urban areas and it would be two-thirds by 2030, so the health care services should be addressed in an integrated way for the benefit of the urban poor, said Brigadier General SMM Saleh Bhuiyan, Chief Health Officer of Dhaka North City Corporation.

Bangladesh has already achieved the MDG through reducing mother and child mortality rate, said Zahid Malik. "The healthcare system in the urban area is not working better, so we have to take policy at the higher level of the government to bring all people under health care service," he said.

Abdul Wadud Dara MP, Ayesha Ferdous MP, Golam Khandoker Prince MP, Advocate Sohrabuddin MP, Pinu Khan MP, Chobi Biswas MP and Mir Mostak Ahmed MP, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)