Health Minister Dr Zahid Malik on Thursday said the best use of young workforce and women empowerment can help achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The minister said this while addressing a discussion at Krishibid Institution in the capital on the occasion of World Population Day.
Dr Malek underlined the necessity of utilizing work skills of more than four crore youths in Bangladesh.
“Now most of the country’s population is at working-age. Besides education, it is necessary to train them up with technical knowledge to reap the benefit,” he said.
Putting emphasis on women empowerment and proper healthcare, he said, at present, maternal death has come down to 170 per one lakh from 320, 25 years ago.
To empower women, it is important to ensure proper education and healthcare for them.
Besides, reducing child mortality rate, stopping child marriage, alleviating malnutrition, ensuring sexual and reproductive health is also very crucial.
Dr Abul Kalam Azad, director general of Directorate General of Health Services, said, “We have reached a good position in fulfilling the targets set by International Conference of Population Development (ICPD).”
“But we are yet to ensure universal healthcare for women. Moreover, we have to reduce child mortality rate and maternal death rate all the more, Dr Abul Kalam said adding: “At present 62 percent women are availing family planning service, we want to take it to 100 percent.
The ICPD, coordinated by the United Nations, was first held in Cairo in 1994. It focuses on fundamental role of women’s interests in population matters and introduced the concepts of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
This year the largest intergovernmental conference will be held on July 12-14 in Nairobi of Kenya. This year’s theme is “25 years of ICPD: Accelerating the promise”.
The governments of Kenya and Denmark and UNFPA, a health-based organisation of IPCD, will jointly organise this year’s summit.
Among others, UNFPA representative to Bangladesh Dr Asa Torkelsson, former health minister AHM Ruhul Haque and Additional Secretary and Director General of Directorate General of Family Planning Kazi Mustafa Sarwar were present at the function.