The campaign for administering oral vaccines will begin on
Sunday to prevent the spread of diarrhoea and cholera diseases across the
Administering of first dose of cholera vaccine will continue
till July 2. Except for pregnant women, the oral vaccine will be administered
to all people aged one year and above.
Under the National cholera control programme, the
vaccination campaign will be carried out in the capital's Jatrabari, Sobujbag,
Mirpur, Mohammadpur and Dakkhinkhan areas.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is funding the
vaccination campaign while International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research
Bangladesh (icddr,b) is implementing the drive.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque is expected to inaugurate the
campaign at the Sasakawa Auditorium of ICDDR, B at 2:00 pm tomorrow.
Secretary of Health services division Dr Md Anowar Hossain
Howlader and senior officials of icddr,b will attend the inaugural function of
the campaign while Director General of Directorate General of Health Services
(DGHS) Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam presided over it.
The newly elected Regional Director for South-East Asia of World Health Organization (WHO) Saima Wazed, a global mental health expert, will take office for the next five years today.
The member states voted to nominate Wazed to the post during a meeting at the 76th session of the WHO Regional Committee for the South-East Asia Region on January 1, 2024.
Later, her nomination was approved during the 154 session of the WHO Executive Board held on January 22-27 in Geneva, Switzerland, according to WHO sources.
Ms. Saima Wazed will replace Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the outgoing RD of South-East Asia Region of WHO.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), India, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste took part in the voting in New Delhi.
Wazed, a renowned autism expert, had secured eight votes. The other candidate, Dr Shambhu Prasad Acharya, nominated by Nepal, received two votes.
Saima Wazed is the first from Bangladesh and the second woman Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region.
She is the daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and is globally famed for her role as a mental health expert-particularly autism. She is an advisor to the WHO's director-general for mental health.
With that, Saima Wazed will be the first Bangladeshi to hold the post created in 1948 as part of WHO's regional divisions.
She spearheaded the campaign for autism awareness in Bangladesh at a time when parents would hide their children with this neurodevelopmental disorder due to the social stigma attached to the developmental disability.
Ms Saima Wazed has a Bachelor degree from Barry University in Florida, USA, and holds a master's degree in clinical psychology. She is a candidate for a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the same university.
Since 2019, she has been an Advisor to the WHO Director-General on Mental Health and Autism and has been a member of WHO's Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health since 2014.
Ms Wazed was designated Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in WHO South-East Asia in 2017. She co-authored WHO South-East Asia Regional Strategy on Autism Spectrum Disorder the same year.
She is an Associate Fellow at the Global Health Program Chatham House, UK, Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and NDDs, Dhaka Bangladesh, and Chairperson of the Shuchona Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Ms Wazed was conferred 'Excellence in Public Health' award by WHO South-East Asia Regional Office in 2014, and Ibrahim Memorial Gold Medal in 2016 by the Dr Ibrahim Memorial Council, Bangladesh, for her work on autism and neurodevelopment disorders.
In 2017, Ms Wazed received International Champion Award from US organization Shema Kolainu for her work on autism in South-East Asia. In 2019, she was conferred Innovative Women Leaders in Global Mental Health award by the Global Mental Health Programs, Columbia University, USA.
Over the past few decades, the countries of WHO’s South East
Asia region have made major strides in both clinical medicine and public
health. They have benefitted from government commitment and the strong human
resource capacity of healthcare and health-related personnel, many of whom have
led a successful fight against TB, leprosy, polio, malaria, and other
communicable diseases as well as maternal, newborn and child health that have
long plagued the region. They have done this against a backdrop of massive
rural-to-urban migration, the emergence of cities whose health and social
services have been pushed to the limit, and epidemiological transition and the
emergence of new lifestyles and associated health challenges.
So today, as the SEARO Region prepares for a new Regional
Director, the demographic transition, impact on health of climate change,
preparedness for future pandemic and most importantly it’s vast range of
non-communicable diseases, that are now challenging governments and their
ministries of health. Foremost among non-communicable diseases are a series of
mental health problems associated with stigma, discrimination, marginalization
and misunderstanding that in the past have been poorly addressed, and which now
call for urgent attention. Throughout the world more work days are being lost
as a result of a pandemic of mental health problems that are undermining family
health and stability, eroding many of the gains that have been achieved in
education and literacy, and placing demands on healthcare systems that have
traditionally focused on communicable diseases and not kept pace with this new
world of mental health challenge. Young people in the SEARO region are being
threatened as never before, along with alarming suicide rates. All these were
recognized at the last SEARO Regional Committee in Bhutan in 2022 WHO, when the
member states of WHO adopted the Paro Declaration calling for new vision and
commitment to mental health care and the development of services that focus on
community participation and primary care that is not only delivered by doctors
and nurses, but also by psychiatric social workers, and many other paramedical
personnel who can be trained to take on this new and fast-growing problem. The
Ministers of Health who came together to address this new challenge agreed that
“…there can be no health without mental health” and they called for major
investments to be made by governments and external partners in preventing and
mitigating mental health problems in ways that reduce treatment costs and
increase human productivity, employment and quality of life.
If the SEARO region and its Member States are to move
forward and take up this dramatic emerging problem, it must do so with vision
and a deep understanding of the world of mental health, psychosocial wellbeing,
and the role of community and society in promoting and protecting mental
health. This will not be simple or easy, but if it is not taken up just as the
regions’ Ministers of Health asked for in their Paro Declaration, countries
will find themselves faced with one of the most complex public health problem
the region has ever seen, and health and socioeconomic development risks being
Whoever is selected to take SEARO and its Member States into the new future, must have a clear understanding of the challenge of mental health and a body of experience in the area of mental health prevention and management as well as negotiating power to bring wide range of experts together that can foster and work hand in hand with the region’s member states public health policy makers, healthcare workers and social sector resources in a new and exciting SEARO public health venture. These are qualities not easily come by, and at the time of writing this, Saima Wazed seems to bring the type of mental health background and experience as will needed drive, dedication and expertise.
Eye Specialist Prof. Deen Mohd. Noorul Haq was invited as a speaker at the 38th
congress of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) help in Malaysia
from 23–26 February 2023, where he delivered speech on “Universal Eye Health
Coverage” The Bangladesh Perspective.
that the Universal Health Coverage is a Priority for Bangladesh Prof. Deen
Mohd. said, the government of Bangladesh is committed to recognizing all people’s
rights to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health under
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the
convention on the Rights of the child.
said that, these fundamental human rights could be established through
universal health coverage (UHC), which would ensure that all people have access
to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they
need them, without financial hardship.
said that, the Bangladesh Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW)
delivers its services through Health Population and Nutrition Sector Program
(HPNSP). National Eye Care (NEC) is one of the operational plans (OP) of the
HPNSP and it follows the guidelines of the Bangladesh National Council for the
Mohd. Noorul Haq is known for his great contribution to Community Ophthalmology
in Bangladesh. He received many awards for his contribution in his field.
The number of dengue patients in the country every day and
the panic among the common people is also increasing. Added to this are the new
symptoms of dengue. The new symptoms seen in dengue patients this year are not
similar to traditional dengue symptoms. These symptoms include diarrhea,
pneumonia and headache. Due to these new symptoms, many patients are delaying
coming to the hospital without realizing that they are infected with dengue. As
a result, there is a risk of death due to delayed treatment. Many are dying
after being hospitalized.
On Thursday (October 20), the Directorate General of Health
Services reported the death of four people due to dengue. On this day, 896
people were admitted to the hospital due to dengue. With this, the number of
patients admitted in various government and private hospitals in the country
has reached 3 thousand 174 people. Apart from this, the number of dengue deaths
has increased to 110 this year. Earlier on Wednesday, the Department of Health
reported the death of seven people infected with dengue.
The dengue situation has suddenly worsened in the past few
weeks. Infected patients are increasing in the hospital every day. As a result,
the hospital authorities are struggling to provide treatment. Even by creating
a separate ward for dengue patients, they are struggling to handle the pressure.
The 10th floor of the capital's Mugda General Hospital has
been reserved only for dengue patients. The open area outside the ward also
been declared as Dengue dedicated war. But still, many of the hospitalized
patients are receiving treatment from the floor without getting a bed.
Mugda General Hospital has a separate ward for children. Two
rooms of this ward have been declared dengue ward. But still there are patients
on the balcony outside the ward.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health said that most of the
dengue victims this year are over 20 years old. But 40-50 years old are dying
more. Still, 35 percent of the patients who died were children, that is, those
under the age of 18. Many of the affected patients are taken to the hospital
late, as a result most of them are dying within three days of admission. This
year there are more deaths outside Dhaka. Besides, the mortality rate of women
is higher than that of men.
The United States
sent Gilead Sciences' remdesivir and Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc's experimental
Ebola antibody drug MBP134 to Uganda last week to help safeguard healthcare
workers responding to an outbreak that has infected 60 people and killed 44,
U.S. government sources told Reuters.
There are currently no proven vaccines or treatments for the
Sudan species of Ebola, one of four known Ebola viruses to cause hemorrhagic
fever in humans. The outbreak confirmed by the Ugandan health ministry on Sept.
20 is the largest of the Sudan species since 2000.
Uganda health minister Jane Ruth Aceng disclosed the U.S.
shipments at a meeting of African region health officials last week in Kampala
and said remdesivir, which has been widely used as a COVID-19 treatment, and an
undisclosed monoclonal antibody had been given to healthcare workers.
Providing treatment that protects the lives of healthcare
workers could be central to containing the outbreak, said Joel Montgomery, the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's chief of the viral special
pathogens branch and incident manager for the outbreak.
"If healthcare workers start to fall ill and die, it's
going to negatively impact the response," said Montgomery, who had just
returned from a trip to Uganda.
For instance, healthcare workers may be reluctant to assist
in the response, he said in a phone interview.
The World Health Organization said in a statement the agency
is working with partners in Uganda to set up the infrastructure for a clinical
trial and is supporting use of the untested antivirals and monoclonal
antibodies and will collect data on their efficacy.
A large outbreak of the Zaire species of Ebola in West
Africa from 2014-2016 led to effective vaccines and treatment, but there are no
proven treatments or vaccines for the Sudan species.
San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical received a $110
million contract from the U.S. government's Biomedical Advanced Research and
Development Authority (BARDA) on October 4 for advanced development and
potential purchases of MBP134, a combination of monoclonal antibodies.
Gilead did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A study of MBP134 and remdesivir in non-human primates
showed that either drug given individually rescued 20% of animals infected with
the Sudan species of Ebola, but when given in combination, 80% of infected
MBP134 is currently being tested in early safety trials in
healthy human volunteers, Mapp President Larry Zeitlin said in an email. All
participants have completed the study, and the data are currently being
analyzed. Overall, MBP134 was well tolerated, he said.
Zeitlin said when requested, the company does provide its
drug for free for compassionate use, pending regulatory and ethics approvals.
He declined to say how many doses the company provided.
Over the past few decades, the countries of WHO’s South East Asia region have made major strides in both clinical medicine and public health. They have benefitted from government commitment and the strong human resource capacity of healthcare and health-related personnel, many of whom have led a successful fight against TB, leprosy, polio,
The number of dengue patients in the country every day and the panic among the common people is also increasing. Added to this are the new symptoms of dengue. The new symptoms seen in dengue patients this year are not similar to traditional dengue symptoms. These symptoms include diarrhea, pneumonia and headache. Due to these new symptoms, many patients are delaying coming to the hospital without realizing that they are infected with dengue.