A new book named "Swadhinotar Ponchas Bochor: Shastho Khater Bikash" (50 Years of Independence: Health Sector Development), celebrating the successes and progress of the health sector in Bangladesh has been unveiled.
The book, published by Prothoma and Bangladesh Health Watch, was unveiled on Saturday (2 April), at a book launching ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka, reads a press release.
The special guests of the ceremony were former health minister Prof Dr AFM Ruhul Haque MP, Dr Jahirul Islam, Health Advisor, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Dr Maleka Banu, General secretary, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Matiul Rahman, Editor, Prothom Alo.
The chief guest was prominent economist Dr Rehman Shobhan. The ceremony was chaired by Dr Rawnak Jahan, Convener, Advisory Group Bangladesh Health Watch.
On the occasion, Ahmed Mustaque Raza Chowdhury, convenor of Bangladesh Health Watch, gave a welcome speech to the audience.
Dr Jahirul Islam said Bangladesh have some amazing development in our health sector.
"Each of the book chapters deals with important information about the 50 years journey, but apart from the 'success saga', we have many issues to discuss and shed light on. The cost of treatment is so high that very few people can afford it. This is creating discrimination," he added.
Jahirul Islam also said that it is high time we need to form a health commission. Otherwise, the ordinary people will always remain in trouble. Moreover, we need to focus on our future healthcare system.
Malika Banu said, "We need to ensure a healthcare system where there will be no gender bias. So, we need to form a gender bias-free health policy."
Former health minister A F M Ruhul Haque said, "After independence we had nothing, but today we can see enormous development in the health sector. Although reportedly, there are corruption and mismanagement, the Bangladesh health sector developed anyway."
Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman said, "According to WHO the health budget should be 15% of the entire budget. But in Bangladesh's context that is only 6 %; however, to ensure universal health coverage, it should be at least 7% of the GDP."
The chief guest, Rehman Shobhan said, "The NGOs played a vital role in bringing changes in the health sector. The Sustainable Development Goal 6, which is "clean water and sanitation for all has been ensured in many rural areas and the NGO people deserves an applaud."
Ninety-nine authors from home and abroad contributed to the book. Most authors are public health experts, researchers, academics, journalists, and doctors.