Bangladesh on Tuesday solicited support from World Health
Organisation’s member states for an autism resolution that it would place next
week in the executive board meeting.
Health minister AFM Ruhal Haque
sought ‘kind support’ of the member states, saying disabilities in resource-poor
countries get less attention.
In his ‘plenary speech’ in the 66th World
Health Assembly in Geneva, he also urged that ‘neglected health issues’ like
autism, dementia and disability be given ‘due priority’ in the post-2015
He also urged WHO to continue supporting its 194
member states, particularly the least developed ones, in tackling the ‘dual
burden’ of infectious and lifestyle diseases through ‘an integrated
The executive board meeting will begin on May 29, a day after
the assembly ends.
Bangladesh is globally known for its campaign for the
well-being of children with autism.
Due to its initiative, the United
Nations and the Regional Committee Meeting of South East Asian Region of WHO
earlier adopted two resolutions on autism.
To gather more support for its
resolution, Bangladesh will co-host an autism meeting on Tuesday at a parallel
session, where Prime Minister’s daughter Saima Wazed Putul will also
Putul, a US-licensed psychologist, leads autism campaigns in
The minister in his speech said maintaining good health was a
key necessity for economic productivity.
He was designated to speak on
how health can find a place in the next development goals. This assembly is also
focusing on post-2015 goals as less than 1,000 days left to end the current
He called upon all to speak ‘together louder and louder’ to ensure
that all the determinants of health –physical, mental and social well-being –
find place in the next development goals for the ‘well-being of
Like his earlier speech on Sunday in the Commonwealth Health
Ministers’ Meeting in Geneva, he also suggested keeping the goals and its
indicators ‘limited, easily understandable and measurable’.
setting up of ‘a common global target’ for each indicator.
“If you look
carefully, MDG targets have fallacies which creates room for discrimination,” he
said pointing out that even after cutting two-third maternal deaths, as proposed
by MDGs, by 2015, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Sierra Leon and Bangladesh would have 15,
60, 325 and 144 maternal death cases respectively.
“That means more
mothers will be allowed to die in the last two countries (Sierra Leon and
Bangladesh) compared to previous two countries (Uzbekistan and Vietnam) in 2015
even after attaining MDG 5 indicators”.
He said some countries that were
lagging behind would need ‘more attention, more resources to upgrade their
“They should be given flexibilities, breathing space and
protection so that the benefits reach to the people who need them most,” he said
urging extension of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS) beyond 2016 for LDCs.
He further renewed his call to reflect upon
‘well-being for all’ in post-2015 goals.
The minister also made the call
not to miss the “unfinished tasks” of health related MDGs like lifestyle
diseases, mental health including autism, universal health coverage, poverty and
hunger elimination, and primary health care.
He also committed to work
closely with all member states in making ‘achievable and holistic’ post-2015