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Dhaka Tribune

A concerted effort for better health

It is indeed a matter of grave concern when individuals in positions of authority are making these claims

Update : 09 Nov 2023, 09:32 AM

Bangladesh’s commitment towards a joint effort for better healthcare for its citizens is appreciated. However, it is only when we see such plans turn to actions implemented will the nation’s overall health actually improve. Covid-19 and the ongoing dengue epidemic have harshly reminded the nation that our healthcare remains not up to the standards expected of a nation with the ambitions that Bangladesh has.

To that end, we are encouraged by the nation now looking to give renewed importance to the “One Health” initiative, now widely known as Manhattan Principle, which calls for recognizing the essential links between human, domestic animal and wildlife health for a safer planet.

However, it must be noted that this initiative has existed since 2008 in Bangladesh, and while Professor Mahmudur Rahman, former director of Bangladesh's disease monitoring agency IEDCR directly noted the implementation challenges that have existed since its inception, we expect more.

In essence, it is disappointing to know the lack of alignment with regard to decision making that exists in the country on a topic as vital as healthcare, and it is indeed a matter of grave concern when individuals in positions of authority are making these claims.

However, given that the pandemic has now shed new light on initiatives such as One Health, and pro-active, preventative measures are receiving more attention rather than always being reactive and curing diseases, now is the time to prioritize this line of thinking.

If we have historically had issues with alignment, of funding, of the appropriate policies to strengthen our healthcare, now is the time for the relevant stakeholders to truly come together and work for the better health of Bangladeshis. We continue to struggle as a nation with keeping people healthy, and it is about time there was a change.

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