PM urges physicians to spend time in research

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the country’s renowned physicians to spend some time in research alongside providing treatment to patients. “We’re setting up medical universities for conducting research along with providing treatment as research is inevitable in medical science,” she said.

The premier made this remarks while addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony of establishment of 460-bed comprehensive heart, kidney and cancer treatment units in medical college hospitals of the country’s eight divisional cities at Osmani Memorial Auditorium.

Joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban, she also renewed her call to the people to receive Covid-19 vaccine and maintain the health safety protocols as the new variant of the lethal virus is spreading quickly across the world.

Sheikh Hasina asked the country’s renowned doctors to find out the diseases which are affecting the local people frequently.

“You (doctors) should put concentration on sorting out that what types of diseases are attacking our people due to our environment, weather, climate and overall other aspects, finding out some time from attending the patients,” she said.

She also urged the physicians to focus on the ways of increasing the resistance against those diseases and “what kind of actions can be taken for it.”

She said the government has been establishing medical universities in divisional headquarters where post-graduate level doctors will continue their study.

“I asked you to conduct research alongside attending patients and the government will do whatever is required for it,” she added.

Referring to the establishment of biotechnology institute in Savar, the prime minister said research in the field of biochemical, biomedical, genetic engineering and oncology is badly needed in the country.

“It is needed to find out why the country’s people are being affected withsuch types of diseases,” she emphasised; saying that the government wants technology-knowledge based more manpower be developed in the country.

Meanwhile, cancer treatment and bone marrow transplantation has started in the country but expansion of it is needed considering the requirement of thepeople, she said.

The premier also highlighted the establishment of different institutes such as Gastroliver, ENT, Eye and others by her government to provide proper treatment to people.

With Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque in the chair, Senior Secretary of Health Service Division Lokman Hossain Miah delivered the welcome address.

At the outset of the function, a video documentary on the development activities taken by the present government and initiatives adopted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic was screened.

The prime minister renewed her call to the countrymen to get vaccinate. relinquishing unnecessary fear to fight the deadly Covid-19 and its new variant- Omicron.

She said, “I request all of you, please receive the Covid-19 jab . . . don’t be afraid. This vaccine will at least save your lives. You may suffer for few days (if infected), but your life will be saved.”

She added the government has made arrangement of over 31 crore Covid-19 jabs for the people of the country, saying, “None will be left unvaccinated.”

She also mentioned that many people are unwilling to take inoculation fearing the pain of needle alongside negative propaganda against the vaccines.

“Our target is to bring 80 percent of the total population, except minors, under the inoculation coverage to save them from the lethal virus and its new variant,” Sheikh Hasina said.

As the new variant- Omicron is also infecting children, the government has started vaccinating the children above 12, she said, adding, “Whenever WHO will announce the age limit of children for taking jabs we’ll start vaccinating them as per its guideline.”

She continued that more than 13 crore doses, including double doses were administered by the time as giving booster doses has already started.

The premier said, “I want the people of the country to remain safe”.

She requested all to follow the health safety protocols strictly, saying, “Please use masks and avoid mass gatherings.”

Regarding the vaccine collection, purchase, examination and vaccination, she said the government has made everything free of cost when many countries, including the rich ones, around the world refused to do so.

“Because serving people is our prime task. We’ve put allocations in the budget for this, and we’ll do whatever is needed to continue the vaccination drive,” she added.

The head of the government also briefly highlighted different measures  taken by her government for the development of the country’s health sector.

She said Awami League after assuming power in 1996 had established nearly 18,000 community clinics across the country.

But the then BNP government had shut down those community clinics, fearing that if those clinics would remain in actions, people might vote for Awami League, she added.

She said they had framed first ever health policy in 1996 as it was required in the country due to over population while established country’s first ever Bangabandhu Medical University to widen the scope of medical treatment and research although BNP forged different barriers.

She added the status of nurses have been upgraded by her government so they can be graduated as well as go to abroad with jobs.

She continued her government introduced 50-bed burn unit in Dhaka Medical College Hospital with other facilities but the then BNP government did not run it.

Later, after assuming office in second term, the Awami League government reopened it and turned into a full-fledged institute, she said.

Mentioning that her government in last 13 years has established 12specialised hospitals while expanded 11 others specialised hospitals, she said work on establishing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Super Specialised Hospital and turning Dhaka Medical College Hospital as modern specialised hospital is going on.

She went on saying that they have been able to reduce under-5 child mortality rate to 36 per 1,000 from 85 while maternal mortality rate was cut down to 165 per lakh from 320 and family planning acceptance rate reached 70 percent from 55.8 percent

The prime minister said her government has appointed over 40,000 doctors, nurses and medical technologists.

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