World Health Organisation regional director for South-East Asia Poonam Khetrapal Singh highly appreciated Bangladesh’s all-out support in the full range of care, including good health care, for Rohingya people living in Bangladesh.
In the annual report of the World Health Organisation Regional Director, she made special highlights on the sufferings of 1.3 million Rohingya people who took shelter in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.
The report was presented at the 71st regional committee meeting of the health ministers of the World Health Organisation of the South-East Asia Region that ended on Friday at the Tajmahal Hotel of New Delhi.
A four-member delegation, headed by state minister of health and family welfare Zahid Maleque, represented Bangladesh at the event that began on September 3, according to a message received from New Delhi.
The other members of Bangladesh delegation were director general of the Directorate General of Health Services Professor Abul Kalam Azad, deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh in New Delhi Rakebul Haque, private secretary to the state minister Arifur Rahman Sheikh and deputy programme manager of the National Nutrition Programme of DGHS Mafizul Islam Bulbul.
Chaired by health minister of India Jagat Prakash Nadda, the meeting was also graced by WHO DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
It was informed at the meeting that Bangladesh would be nominated as member of the WHO executive board at Geneva headquarters for a three-year period beginning from 2019.
The five-day meeting took important decisions, among others, on elimination of malaria, and control of dengue and other vector-borne diseases from the region, and reviewed the progress on health workforce, universal health coverage, measles elimination, birth and death registration, and promoting physical activity.
An important outcome of the meeting was adoption of the Delhi Declaration for improving access to essential medicines in the region and beyond.
As part of the meeting, a special award was given to Bangladesh for outstanding performances in the control of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome.
WHO DG Tedros, in his speech, also praised Bangladesh’s exemplary role for the Rohingya people. He mentioned categorically that such a well-organised and well-coordinated camp healthcare for displaced population was not found anywhere in the world.
State minister Zahid Maleque held several bilateral meetings. He met, amongst others, health minister of India Jagat Prakash Nadda, WHO DG Tedros and WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh.
In his meeting with the WHO DG, he extended an invitation to Tedros to visit Bangladesh at a convenient time.
Zahid Maleque sought WHO’s assistance to find a sustainable solution to universal health coverage in the country by beginning with protecting the population under extreme poverty so that the extreme poor got full healthcare support without needing to pay.
WHO’s immediate assistance was also needed for making the National Drug Control Laboratory with international experts, and for making the public hospitals more efficient and welcoming to the ordinary people.
The state minister also requested for more opportunities for Bangladeshi nationals to be employed in WHO positions.
Tedros said that he would visit Bangladesh sometime in January 2019 and would visit the Rohingya camps during this visit.
Tedros also promised to extend necessary support to make the National Drug Control Laboratory functional and the Bangladeshi public hospitals more people-centred and efficient.
He promised to explore opportunities for absorbing more Bangladeshi nationals in WHO positions; however, he advised to encourage Bangladeshi nationals to submit applications whenever such calls were available for WHO vacancies.
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