09 September 2013, Dhaka. Bangladesh has achieved its target for reducing deaths from malaria much ahead of time, experts said at a roundtable on Sunday.
They said the country by 2012 has successfully reduced deaths from malaria by 60 per cent, a target it had originally set to achieve by 2015.
Well-coordinated efforts of the government, NGOs and the media helped the country achieve the success, the speakers said.
The National Malaria Control Programme, Directorate General of Health Services, daily Samakal and non-government organization BRAC organized the event titled ‘National Malaria Control Programme: Present situation and future work plan’ at the BRAC Centre in Dhaka.
Health experts at the programme said currently more than 1.5 crore people of 13 districts in the country are in the risk of being infected by malaria.
According to 2012 statistics, 29518 patients were affected with the disease of whom 11 died. Of the districts in risk, Cox's Bazar and three hill districts, Khagrachhari, Rangamati and Bandarban are most affected.
Speakers pointed out that want of trained doctors and nurses in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is a major challenge in fighting the disease.
Chief guest of the programme, MM Neazuddin, health and family welfare secretary, criticized the tendency among many doctors to stay in the cities.
The problem is not only of the hilly districts, but of all over Bangladesh, he said, adding, 'I get so many requests for transfer that sometimes I switch off my cell phone'.
Mostafiz Safi, executive editor, Samakal, presided over the programme with Professor Dr Khondhaker Md Shefyetallah, director general of health service, and Professor Dr MA Faiz, former director general of health service, present as special guests.
The keynote presentation was given by Professor Dr Be-Nazir Ahmed, director (disease control) and line director (CDC), health service, ministry of health and family welfare. Abdullah Shahriar, assistant professor, National Heart Institute and Hospital, also editor of health page of Samakal, moderated the roundtable.
Dr Md Akramul Islam, associate director of BRAC Health Nutrition and Population Programme, also spoke.