Hasina marked National Health Service Week by distributing ambulances and jeeps to emergency healthcare services
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for mainstreaming traditional medicine through renewed focus on the age-old indigenous healthcare system, alongside conventional drugs, at the inauguration of National Health Service Week 2019.
“We cannot neglect treatment using herbal, ayurvedic, unani and homeopathy medicines, and should give more importance to their development to facilitate the people in getting treatment,” Hasina said at the ceremony, held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The prime minister said Bangladesh has now achieved huge success in producing standard conventional drugs, creating demands abroad, but “traditional medicines have great value” as well, reports BSS.
“The demand for herbal treatment is enormous across the globe,” she said, stressing the need for extensive research for the development of traditional medicine.
To mark the health service week, Hasina distributed ambulances and jeeps, purchased by public funds during the 2017-18 fiscal year, to facilitate emergency healthcare services for people at the grassroots.
The prime minister reiterated her government’s commitment to take healthcare services to people's doorsteps, pointing out the initiatives taken so far for the overall development of the health sector.
Hasina said setting up community clinics across the country was a part of the commitment to bring all people under healthcare services.
She said around 14,000 such community clinics were currently offering health services to mothers and children, and providing 30 different essential medicines to the community free of cost.
She also regretted that such a basic healthcare facility was closed down during the past BNP-Jamaat regime as it was initiated during Awami League’s 1996-2001 tenure.
The prime minister said a nationwide training programme was underway to develop skilled midwives to handle delivery cases.
She said the government has also introduced telemedicine services through call centres, named “sasthyo batayan”, utilizing ICT (information, communication and technology) services.
Hasina added that these initiatives were actually a follow-up of services introduced by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She recalled that his post-independence government had set up 10-bed hospitals at union level to reach healthcare services to the people’s doorsteps.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque presided over the function, while State Minister Md Murad Hasan was present as special guest.
Health Services Division secretary gave the welcome address, while representatives from World Health Organization (WHO) also spoke at the event.