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WHO disseminated report on Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008--

The MPOWER package


The World Health Organization Bangldesh Country Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched report on Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008 The MPOWER package in Dhaka today at Sheraton Hotel with a call for combating the harmful effect of tobacco use.

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008 is the most successful data collection effort to date in tobacco control at the global level. It provides essential data representing more than 99% of the world's population. It includes country and regional data on tobacco. The Bangladesh data was validated by the ministry of Health and Family Welfare.                                                                                More...

WHO launches a new initiative to reduce maternal mortality

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an initiative to strengthen the Menstrual Regulation (MR) programme to reduce maternal mortality in Bangladesh.

The objective of this initiative is to ensure quality of MR services and its availability to underserved groups. A Challenge Fund of $2.73 million, established with the funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation, will support innovative proposals that address delivery of quality MR services, demand-side barriers and improving knowledge and evidence base for MR policy and programme directions. WHO has invited interested NGOs working on MR, professional and research institutions to submit concept notes and project proposals. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process.

WHO will provide support to the Government of Bangladesh in its in-built stewardship role in the MR programme implementation as well as the partner MR NGOs and institutions during the implementation of the projects under the Challenge Fund. The latter will include individual advisory support as well as quality assurance of project design through independent review committees.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Mr AKM Zafar Ullah Khan, launched the new initiative on 23 June 2008.            More...

Call for Proposals:

The WHO is calling for proposals for improving menstrual regulation and related reproductive health services, management and research to address the issue of reduction of maternal mortality in Bangladesh. Proposals that demonstrate innovative approaches and build on public-private partnership will be given a priority.

New WHO publication on Arsenicosis Detection for field-level health workers

Building on the success of the WHO Technical Publication “A Field Guide for Detection, Management and Surveillance of Arsenicosis Cases”, a simplified version has now been published in the Bangla language for training and as a ready reference for nurses, health assistants and other grass-roots health workers.  The aim is to considerably increase capacity at field level to enable the early detection of Arsenicosis patients.  The simplified guide includes information on early symptoms including photographs of common skin lesions and a flowchart to facilitate basic diagnosis.

Although Arsenicosis patients are found equally among men and women, there is a scarcity of female doctors in Bangladesh and many women are reluctant to consult a male physician for examination of skin lesions.  In contrast, the mostly female nurses have ready access to female patients and it is expected that the simplified guide will improve gender equality with regard to early Arsenicosis detection.  The Directorate General of Health Services has already initiated an extensive training programme on Arsenicosis for the field-level health workforce and will disseminate the simplified guide nationwide.

World No Tobacco Day 2008 Observed in Bangladesh  

Month long activities until 30 June 2008

Call for enforcement of Tobacco Control law and total ban on all sorts of promotional activities by tobacco industry

The “World No-Tobacco Day” (WNTD) was observed all over Bangladesh, as elsewhere in the world, on May 31, 2008. This year, the Government of Bangladesh has celebrated the WNTD through  a  month- long chain of interesting activities in collaboration with NGOs. WHO is providing technical support and a seed grant to celebrate the occasion.

 This year's WNTD promotes the theme of Tobacco-free Youth to protect young people from exposure to tobacco. The tobacco industry spends tens of millions of dollars worldwide each year to effectively market its products in as many ways as possible. In response to this threat to young people, this year's World No-Tobacco Day campaign focuses to ban all forms of direct and indirect tobacco advertising, including promotion of tobacco products and sponsorship, by the tobacco industry, of any events or activities. On the other hand, it is now being expected that  young people themselves would take it as a challenge to  raise their voice and organize counter-marketing activities to deglamorise tobacco use.



Tobacco tax increased in the Bangladesh National Budget 2008-09

WHO Bangladesh is supporting  a month-long campaign activity to observe the World No -Tobacco Day 2008.  The Bangladesh Country Office of WHO, in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,  has advocated to the highest level of the Government for increasing the tax on tobacco in the next national Budget. The WHO Professionals  on non-communicable diseases (NCD) along with National Professor Professor Nurul Islam met with  the Hon'ble President, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh,  to place the issue of harmful effects of tobacco consumption and passive smoking on health. The Ministry of Finance and the Chairman of the National Board of Revenue were also sensitized, and requested to consider raising taxes on all forms of tobacco, given the adverse impacts of smoking on  public health.

It is, thus, a great leap forward that the Bangladesh Finance Adviser to the Caretaker Government  Mr.  A. B. Mirza Md. Azizul Islam in his budget speech on 9 June 2008 has announced new taxes on Tobacco.


World Health Day -2008:  


Events and official observance of the Day in Bangladesh


The theme of this year’s World Health Day is “Protecting health from Climate Change”, and its official observance took place in the Osmani Memorial Auditorium, Dhaka.  The Chief Guest at the ceremony was the Dr. A.M.M. Shawkat Ali, Honourable Advisor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), and the Chairperson was Mr. A.K.M. Zafar Ullah Khan, Secretary, MOHFW.  Special Guests included Dr. Duangvadee Sungkhobol, WHO Representative to Bangladesh, Mrs Kamrun Nessa Khanam, Director General of  Family Planning, Professor Md. Abul Faiz, Director General of Health Services, and Mr. Raja Devasish Roy, Special Assistant to the Honourable Chief Advisor, Ministry of Environment and Forest.


WHO-Bangladesh launches the new Biennial Collaborative Programme

The WHO – Bangladesh Country Office had an official launching of their new two-year biennial programme of technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh. It took place at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on January 31, 2008, and was attended by 80 participants. The official launching event was chaired by Mr AKM Zafarullah Khan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The WHO representative to Bangladesh, Dr Duangvadee Sungkhobol, the Director General of Family Planning, and the Director-General of Health Services-Bangladesh, were also present. All the new Programme Directors and the Programme Managers of the new WHO biennial programme were present as well.


New Strategic Plan for NCD Published

Bangladesh is now going through a phase of epidemiological transition from communicable diseases to non-commmunicable diseases (NCDs). The burden of disease is high for NCDs,  while the duration of hospitalization or care is usually quite long for most NCDs, and thus, it is costly per episode to treat NCDs.  The common problems in Bangladesh are: heart diseases, respiratory distress, stroke and paralysis, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, drowning, and cancers.

 The office of the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS), with technical support from the WHO-Bangladesh Country Office, have just published a “Strategic Plan for Surveillance and Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases in Bangladesh, 2007-2010.” This is the first-ever effort to develop a focused strategic plan to prevent and contain these diseases. NCDs are a major public health concern.

 This document is timely and points to the urgent need for cost-effective treatment regimens, and strong advocacy for prevention. This document calls for stronger surveillance, better prevention mechanisms,  and skilled health personnel at all tiers for quick diagnosis and treatment. This Plan of Action lays emphasis on achieving a set of objectives that makes room for robust indicator-based evaluation systems.






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The International Health Insurance Regulations (IHR 2005) come into force, within the two years target set by the 58th World Health Assembly that met in Geneva in May 2005.

National Strategic Plan of Action for Tobacco Control 2007-2010 has been launched


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has officially launched the National Strategic Plan of Action for Tobacco Control 2007-2010 recently. The World Health Organization (WHO) has supported the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) of the Bangladesh Government in its effort to develop the National Plan of action for tobacco Control 2007-2010..

Bangladesh has enacted a tobacco control law in 2005 in accordance with some of the provisions of WHO FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control). Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has established a National Tobacco Control Cell in Dhaka to strengthen its fight against tobacco. Recently WHO recruited Technical Officers under Bloomberg Global Initiative to reduce tobacco use. They are supporting the National Tobacco Control Cell.


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