Health Experts at a programme said that non-communicable diseases cause 10 to 20 times more deaths in the country than Covid-19.
Although many more people die from non-communicable diseases, more importance is given to infectious diseases.
About 70% of the total deaths in the country are caused by non-communicable diseases, experts said on the first session of the second day of the first National NCDs Conference on Thursday.
They believe that this rate could increase from 70% to 80% in 2040 if much attention is not paid.
The three-day event is being held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka. The conference, which started on 26 January will end on 28 January.
The conference is being organised by 30 local and foreign organisations including Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme, Bangladesh Non-Communicable Disease Forum and Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum.
At least 350 people are dying daily on an average in the country due to smoking alone. Cancer, heart disease are all non-communicable diseases and the mortality rate due to each of them is five times more than the death rate from Covid-19.
In the first session of the conference, Dr Mohd Shahadat Hossain Mahmud, director general of Health Economics Unit said that the whole world is going through a crisis at the moment due to the pandemic.
Citing various research data, Dr Shahadat said that at present, 8.4 million people in the country are suffering from diabetes. If you test everyone, the number may increase. The annual cost for their insulin is Tk16,800 crore, he added.
"You can protect yourself from various non-communicable diseases by controlling diabetes only," said the DG.
In speech of the chief guest, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said NCD is a new burden on
Bangladesh. The number of patients suffering from cancer, diabetes and heart disease is rising alarmingly.
The city corporation has taken steps to reduce the risk of NCDs of the citizens and protection of their health. Parks, footpaths and open space have been constructed for them, he added.
"Unfortunately, air pollution is the highest in Dhaka in the world causing various health risks including respiratory diseases," the mayor said.
In the second session, five research papers were presented.
In the paper titled 'The Double Burden of Malnutrition Among Women aged 20-59 Year in Bangladesh: Evidence from A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Survey', it was found that Bangladesh is witnessing undernutrition with a continuous rise in overweight and obesity among females which is a matter of grave concern from a public health perspective.
The research paper also said the females of Sylhet consume the unhealthiest food.
In the fourth session, Hasanul Haq Inu was present as the chief guest.
He said that the country is undergoing the brunt of the communicable disease Covid. But it is necessary to prevent NCDs.
He suggested introducing universal healthcare in the country. He thinks it may take five to seven years to introduce UHC if it starts from the next budget.