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Prioritising health issue of urban poor underscored

By UNB, DHAKA
10th-Apr-2015       
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Economist Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman on Thursday stressed the need for including the primary healthcare issue of urban poor into the government policy as their number is growing gradually in the country.
"Bangladesh has widespread healthcare infrastructures, but there's no special step to provide healthcare facility to urban poor," he told the inaugural session of a three-day international conference in the capital.
Dr Zillur said it is time to change the government policy prioritizing the healthcare issue of urban poor people.  Power and Participatory Research Centre (PPRC) with support from The Rockefeller Foundation and The World Bank organised the conference titled, 'Realizing UHC Goals: Bangladesh Reality and Way Forward' at Radisson Hotel in the capital.
Dr Zillur, also the PPRC chairman, said although child malnutrition is still a major health problem in Bangladesh, but obesity is beginning to be a problem here as it is growing fast in urban areas.  Raising voice about the quality of health, he said: "The life expectancy has increased up to 67 years in the country, but are we really healthy?"
Finding the irrational healthcare logistic procurement another problem, the former caretaker government adviser said the quality of medicine is a big concern for the nation as the country is flooded with substandard medicines.
"You may find some quality medicines in the capital, but if you go to villages, you'll find such adulterated medicines simply made by wheat (ata)," he added.
State Minister for Finance MA Mannan, Deputy Minister of Public Health, Thailand, Dr Somsak Chunahars and president of World Federation of Association of Pediatric Surgeons Dr DK Gupta, among others, spoke at the inaugural session of the conference.

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