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The fourth Café Scientifique on addressing health problems of senior citizens

  • Published at 09:53 pm January 14th, 2019
web-The fourth Café Scientifique on addressing health problems of senior citizens
Participant speaks at an open discussion session at the fourth Café Scientifique, organized by the icddr,b on Monday, January 14

This event saw non- specialists and experts coming together to form an environment that encourages openness and facilities’ interaction, that creates a bidirectional flow of information necessary for genuine public engagement

The fourth Café Scientifique to discover and address health problems of the elderly citizens in the country was organized by the icddr,b on Monday.

A project of icddr,b titled 'Strengthening Health, Applying Research Evidence (SHARE)' in collaboration with the Department of Population Sciences (DPS), University of Dhaka, organized the fourth Café Scientifique in the Professor Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium of the Dhaka University (DU).

This event saw non- specialists and experts coming together to form an environment that encourages openness and facilities’ interaction, that creates a bidirectional flow of information necessary for genuine public engagement.

Researchers, government stakeholders, health professionals, journalists and students took part in the open discussion on the fourth Café Scientifique.

The discussion provided an opportunity to a diverse group of participants to engage in research backed conversation about the rapidly growing social and healthcare challenges of the elderly (60+) population in Bangladesh.

 Initiating the discussion, Mohammad Belal Hossain, Associate Professor, DPS, DU presented his findings on the current situation of social and health care needs of the senior citizens in Bangladesh. 

We should look out for ways to address the rapidly growing social and healthcare challenges the elderly people, which comprise about 8 percent of the population, face in the country, Belal Hossain said.

To ensure active participation of aged citizens in day to day activities, the foremost thing is to provide them with better health facilities. At the same time, the perception of elderly population should be changed and they should be treated as potential human resources not as burden of the society, he added. 

The discussion also sought ways to address the emerging challenges, the elderly people face in country.

Dr. ATM Iqbal Anwar, scientist and project director, SHARE project of icddr,b highlighted the importance of introducing friendly health services to the elderly by introducing old age corners in every Upazila Health Complex across the country. In addition, the health policy should include senior citizens to avail health services considering their different economic classes and social conditions, Iqbal Anwar said.
Tabassum, astudent of DU’s Women’s and Gender Studies suggested the inclusion of elderly women in any policy that is designed for this group of population, because in our society, women are more vulnerable due to critical female diseases. 

Professor Dr Mohammad Mainul Islam, DPS, DU moderated the discussion, while Dr. M Mushtuq Hussain, coordinator, Coordination and Support Centre, DGHS and Dr Md Khalekuzzaman, Dr. Mahbub Allehi, scientist, head of Universal Health Coverage Division, icddr,b, spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, in 2017-2018, three Café Scientifique discussions were held on three different themes. 

The theme of the first held at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University was 'Healthy lifestyle to prevent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The second, with the theme 'Breast cancer scenario: prevention and awareness' was held at the Dhaka University and the third under the theme 'Prevention of NCDs among Urban Adolescents and Young Adults' was held at the James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University.
The SHARE project supported by the European Union and icddr,b is an international public health research institution based in Bangladesh. 

Established in 1960, icddr,b has been at the forefront of discovering low cost solutions to key health challenges faced by people living in poverty and provides robust evidence of their effectiveness on a large scale. Dedicated to saving lives through research and treatment, icddr,b addresses some of the most critical health concerns the world is facing today. 

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