Describing the non-communicable diseases as a barrier in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Bangladesh Network for NCD Control and Prevention (BNNCP) has said the rate of the diseases has to be reduced to achieve the SDGs in due time.
Besides, it is necessary to formulate and implement necessary public health friendly policies including amendment of tobacco control law, said the organization.
They made the remarks during a meeting with Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator of SDG Affairs at Prime Minister's Office at the latter's office on Monday afternoon.
During the meeting, the BNNCP delegation highlighted the current situation of NCDs in Bangladesh and its economic impact. Currently NCDs such as cardiovascular disease and cancer are responsible for 67 percent of the total deaths in Bangladesh, they said.
And tobacco alone is responsible for 19 percent of all deaths. The treatment of these diseases is expensive, and in many cases, it is not possible to get a complete cure once anyone infected. As a result, the productivity of the affected person is reduced, which has a negative impact on the family and the economy of the country.
The delegation said public health-friendly laws and policies are needed to curb the growing risk of NCDs. Controlling tobacco use is one of the best ways to prevent the growing risk of NCDs in Bangladesh.
Therefore, the existing tobacco control law needs to be amended to strengthen tobacco control. It is also important to formulate policies on air pollution control, salt and trans fat levels in industrial foods. At the same time, in order to prevent these diseases, it is necessary to raise awareness about adhering to healthy lifestyle in one's personal life.
Zuena Aziz said appropriate steps would be taken to prevent NCDs. She assured that necessary assistance would be provided to expedite the process of amending the existing Tobacco Control Law.
The BNNCP delegation includes Prof Abdullah Al Shafi Majumder, secretary general of Bangladesh Cardiac Society; Prof Golam Mohiuddin Faruque, joint-secretary general of Bangladesh Cancer Society; and Prof Sohel Reza Choudhury, head of the Department of epidemiology and Research at National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute.