Bangladesh’s healthcare model, known as “The Sheikh Hasina Initiative,” has received worldwide recognition as the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopts it. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her pride for the country during an international conference on ‘Public Health and Diplomacy’ held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital on July 11.
At the conference, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all countries to work together to ensure health protection for everyone. She emphasized that the well-being of each person affects us all, and we can only be truly safe when everyone is healthy. To strengthen global health cooperation, the Prime Minister proposed five important ideas:
- Prepare for Future Health Emergencies: Countries should work together to be ready and respond effectively to health crises in the future.
- Share Successful Disease Control Methods: By collaborating, we can learn from each other’s experiences to eliminate curable diseases and prevent the spread of new ones.
- Take Care of Mental Health: We must include mental health in our national health systems and prevent tragic events like accidents and drownings.
- Improve Health Education and Research: By coordinating efforts, we can better deal with tropical diseases that are increasing due to climate change.
- Ensure Health Protection for All: It is essential to join forces and make sure everyone has access to good health, focusing on the well-being of mothers, children, and adolescents.
During her speech, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted the success of Bangladesh’s community clinics, which bring healthcare services to people’s doorsteps, especially those who are often left out. There are about 14,500 community clinics in the country that provide essential medicines, including care for mothers and children, free of charge. The government is also working on giving free insulin to diabetic patients.
These community clinics serve around 40 patients daily on average, and 80 percent of them are women and children. Moreover, approximately 4,000 clinics across Bangladesh offer essential services for normal deliveries.
The government is also committed to supporting disabled individuals through 103 disability service and assistance centers in different regions. Plans are underway to set up 211 more centers to ensure proper healthcare for those with autism and neuro-developmental disabilities through the ‘Bangabandhu Pratibandhi Suraksha Bima’ initiative.
The conference saw the participation of esteemed guests, including Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Zahid Malek, Myanmar’s Minister of Health Thet Khaing Win, Bhutan’s Minister of Health Dasho Dechen Wangmo, Maldives Deputy Minister of Health Safia Mohamed Saeed, Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vijavat Isarabhakdi, and the World Health Organization representative in Bangladesh, Dr Bardan Jung Rana.
The conference provided an important opportunity for the 11 member states of the WHO South East Asia region, which includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.
As the world embraces ‘The Sheikh Hasina Initiative,’ the call for health protection echoes far and wide, inspiring nations to unite and work together for the well-being of all people. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment to healthcare has not only earned respect within her country but also sparked global admiration and encouragement for a healthier and fairer future.