Prime Minister (PM) Khaleda Zia said the developing countries need support in evolving new technologies and methods, particularly for making drugs available and affordable, at cheaper prices, reports UNB.
She said this while inaugurating the joint inaugural ceremony of the 24th session of the South East Asian Region (SEAR) Health Ministers and 59th session of WHO Regional Committee meeting for Southeast Asia in the city Sunday.
The health ministers' meeting will continue from August 20 to 21 while the Regional Committee meeting from August 22 to 25, with the health ministers, experts and international agencies carrying out brainstorming on ways of ensuring good health for all and addressing some mortal epidemics that have erupted of late.
She placed a few issues for consideration at the health ministers' and regional WHO meetings being held in the city.
She also suggested developing a well-trained and dedicated public health workforce as the region's countries are faced with unprecedented threats from emergent infectious diseases and the growing burden of chronic diseases.
She named the diseases that have posed a threat to public health, such as avian influenza, dengue, HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, and kala-azar.
The prime minister stressed the need for devising affordable methods to contain these deadly diseases. "We also need to share the best practices in the control of reemerging diseases like polio," she told the inaugural function.
The prime minister pointed out that poverty alleviation and resolving the problems of public health are two complementary tasks. "Poverty and ill-health are intertwined. We find that poor countries tend to have noticeably worse health outcomes than better-off countries. There still remain stark inequities in access to healthcare services within and among nations."
She told the health ministers, SEAR delegations and WHO executives that this critical issue needs to be resolved without delay. "We expect that your deliberations will produce solutions in this regard."
She appreciated the report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health, recently published by the WHO, saying that it would go a long way in making good use of the flexibilities allowed under TRIPS.
The PM affirmed that Bangladesh, among other countries of this region, would support the World Alliance for Patient Safety initiative and be a part of the First Global Patient Safety Challenge.
She said the new theme 'clean care is safer care' would put together concerted efforts to promote the highest standards of practice and behaviour and, no doubt, reduce the risks of healthcare-associated infection.
After the inaugural session the health ministers of the host and the participant countries jointly called on Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at the venue.