Produce medicines for leprosy patients: PM

Published: 11 Dec 2019   

Samakal Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged local pharmaceutical companies to produce medicines for the leprosy patients and distribute those free to help achieve the goal.

She vowed to eliminate leprosy from the country before the target of 2030.

The prime minister said this while inaugurating the National Conference- 2019 on “Zero Leprosy Initiative by 2030” at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city on Wednesday morning.

She simultaneously called upon all concerned including health department officials and field-level staffs to strengthen the national leprosy activities to build a leprosy-free Bangladesh before 2030.

Terming the persons suffering from leprosy as a part of the society, the prime minister urged the people to treat them with humanitarian outlook.

Sheikh Hasina underscored the need for creating social awareness and discarding negative mentality about the leprosy-affected people.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque presided over the function, while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Health and Family Welfare Ministry Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Chairman of the Nippon Foundation of Japan and WHO Goodwill Ambassador Yohei Sasakawa were present as the special guests.

Secretary of the Health Services Division Md Asadul Islam delivered the welcome address.

A documentary on overall situation of the leprosy disease and its treatment was screened at the function.

The prime minister advised the physicians and other concerned to take steps so that the disease of leprosy patients is detected at the primary stage.

Sheikh Hasina said that there is no alternative to employment for ensuring development of all persons with disabilities for leprosy.

Referring to her government’s strides to build a leprosy-free country, the prime minister said her government after assuming office in 1996 took different programmes to root out the disease.

Sheikh Hasina said the number of leprosy patients is higher in some areas of the country including North Bengal and Chattogram Hill Tracts region.

Sheikh Hasina said in 1985, a total of 35.58 percent of leprosy diagnosed patients used to come to the hospitals for treatments with disability.

The premier said now her government wants to bring this rate down to zero with united efforts by all the government and non-government organizations.

Sheikh Hasina said in order to help people enjoy basic rights through eliminating social discrimination against leprosy, her government in 2011 has repealed the age-old law enacted by the British government regarding the leprosy-affected people.


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