National Nutrition Week 2023 was launched today on Wednesday (7 June) at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital with this year’s theme ‘Build a strong nutrition base to build Smart Bangladesh’. The week will be observed from 7 June to 13 June.
Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque M. P., minister for agriculture was present as the keynote speaker at the programme, with Zahid Maleque M. P., minister for health and family welfare, attending as the chief guest. Dr Md Anwar Hossain Howlader, secretary, Health Services Division, presided over the event. Professor Dr Abul Bashar Mohammed Khurshid Alam, director general of Health Services, gave the welcome speech.
A number of national and international organisations, including BRAC, presented summary of their activities at the launching programme.
Agriculture minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque M. P. said, “We have taken both the issues of safe food and nutrition-rich food as a challenge. We must ensure nutrition-rich food for the children of Bangladesh to ensure the proper development of their brains. We are working to fulfil this aim.”
Minister for health and family welfare Zahid Maleque M. P. said, “Malnutrition affects our health and education as well. Children with malnourished brain lose capacity to learn. It will ultimately affect both agriculturial and industrial production. People will suffer from diseases more often, which will minimise their ability for hard work.”
Director general of Health Services Professor Dr Abul Bashar Mohammed Khurshid Alam said in his welcome note, “The honourable prime minister made a 12-point pledge to improve the nutritional status of Bangladesh at the ‘Nutrition for the growth’ summit held in Japan in December 2021. Six of those were directly related to health. Our organisation is working to implement those pledges.”
BRAC showcased its activities in the health and nutrition sector at the event. Visitors were informed of many kinds of nutrition-related messages at its stall. BRAC also organised a game titled ‘pushti-ludo’, a tool for learning about nutrition through fun.
Morseda Chowdhury, director, Health Nutrition and Population Programme (HNPP), BRAC said, “What we eat is what we are. Our health reflects what we eat. Our plates must have enough nutritious food to enable us to lead a healthy life. We have to ensure that we are eating nutritious food to prevent diseases.”
Other officials from the ministry of health and family welfare, directorate general of health, Institute of Public Health Nutrition, National Nutrition Services, Bangladesh National Nutrition Council, and representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), UNICEF, Save the Children, UKAID were also present at the programme.