pharmaceutical companies to produce medicines for the leprosy patients and distribute those free to help achieve the goal.
“There are many pharmaceutical companies in our country which export medicines to different countries of the world and the quality of their medicines is very high,” she said.
“So, I would like to request them to produce the specialised medicines that are needed for the leprosy patients and make arrangements to distribute those among the patients free of cost and thus they can help reach our goal fast,”
Sheikh Hasina said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating the National Conference- 2019 on “Zero Leprosy Initiative by 2030” at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel here this 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.
“I believe that we could build a leprosy-free Bangladesh much before the target 2030, if we all work sincerely in this regard,” she said.
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.
“I will like to tell the people that they’re a part of our society. So it’s not proper to push them away. If anybody is diagnosed with leprosy, you’ll have to treat him or her with sympathy and make arrangements for treatment so he or she could be cured … it’s very much necessary,” she said.
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. “If they are diagnosed with the disease at the preliminary stage, they could be cured fast and will not be crippled,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that there is no alternative to employment for ensuring development of all persons with disabilities for leprosy.
“People affected with leprosy must not be sacked from a job, rather a conducive working environment for the disabled people must be created,” she said.
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.
“We had seen the good results of our initiatives as we had been able to bring down the number of leprosy patient to one in every 10,000 population by 1998. It means that we could achieve the MDG in 1998 instead of 2000,” she
Sheikh Hasina said the number of leprosy patients is higher in some areas of the country including North Bengal and Chattogram Hill Tracts region. “We’ve to focus on those areas and make arrangements for the treatment of the
leprosy patients alongside creating awareness,” she said.
“If we can do this, we could build a leprosy-free country much before 2030 Insha Allah,” she said.
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.
“But, this ratio has fallen into less than eight percent,” she said, adding that it is one of the big successes of her government.
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.