Bangladesh to move autism resolution
Nurul Islam Hasib from Geneva,
Published: 2013-05-21 11:13:05.0 BdST Updated: 2013-05-21 11:23:00.0 BdST
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 development agenda.
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 approach’.
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 speak.
Putul, a US-licensed psychologist, leads autism campaigns in Bangladesh.
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 MDGs.
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 all’.
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’.
He suggested 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 situation’.
“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 goals.
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