Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mohammed Nasim said the government is committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and access to quality health care in accordance with 2030 Global Agenda.
He was speaking at World Health Assembly (WHA) during a Plenary Session in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday.
"Bangladesh has achieved the status of developing country this year and has set Vision 2021 – to emerge as a middle income country, build a ‘Golden Bangladesh’, with a knowledge-driven digital health system, with the emphasis on achieving universal health coverage," said Health Minister Mohammed Nasim.
"Taking inspiration from our current visionary leadership, we are in the process of social and economic emancipation in our development arena. We have combated communicable diseases and reduced child and maternal mortality, ensured high immunization coverage with extended primary, secondary and tertiary health care in both public and private sectors,” he said.
The government of Bangladesh has launched a UHC project “Health Protection Scheme” on a pilot basis which is revolutionizing the healthcare delivery system for the poor people, he told the session.
"This project has introduced health insurance in order to bring equity and offset risk of falling into poverty by reducing the share of out of pocket expenditure," said Nasim.
He also mentioned that Bangladesh has ensured door step service delivery, through 14,000 community clinics using life course approach and community ownership.
Emphasizing investment on nutrition, health minister on behalf of Bangladesh urged to keep nutrition as one of World Health Organization’s (WHO) priority agenda and enhance investment on nutrition as tool of achieving UHC.
"We also consider our efforts towards providing community level health and nutrition services to enhance the outreach as a means of 'investing millions to cover billions' in a way to achieve universal health coverage," Nasim added.
He spoke about WHO's political and ethical support to offset such emergencies, and response of Bangladesh as host country to Rohingya refugee: "Bangladesh has set an example in addressing health emergencies of one million forcibly displaced Myanmar population with the technical support from partners especially WHO."
On the opening day with the minister of health, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusdiscussed how to strengthen mutual efforts to provide better health services to the Rohingya refugees.
The health minister also addressed the global shortages of, and access to medicine and vaccines. "Bangladesh can contribute effectively through producing low cost high quality medicines and vaccines. We are ready to cooperate in this regards."
He also urged global agreement on priorities, increased allocations for WHO South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) particularly for vulnerable countries in our region to achieve UHC in time.