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Increased budgetary allocation to combat NCDs stressed

Staff Reporter:

Speakers at a workshop yesterday stressed the need for increasing budgetary allocation to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
They said while the NCDs are responsible for the majority of deaths in our country, the budget allocated to fight NCDs remains alarmingly insufficient, adding that necessary budget allocation is crucial to ef-fectively control the growing prevalence of NCDs.
The virtual workshop for journalists titled “Budgetary Allocation to Combat NCDs: Bangladesh Perspec-tive” was organized by research and advocacy organization PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) with support from Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
A total of 19 journalists from print, electronic, and online media houses working in Sylhet metropolis participated in the workshop, a PROGGA press release said.
It was informed at the workshop that 70 percent of total deaths in Bangladesh are attributed to non-communicable diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, cancer, kidney diseases, respiratory diseases, diabe-tes, and hypertension.
However, the budgetary allocation dedicated to combat NCDs is alarmingly low, comprising only 4.2 percent of the total health budget.
The participants were also informed that despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommenda-tion for countries to allocate at least 15 percent of their total budget to the health sector, Bangladesh al-located only five percent of its total budget to healthcare in the fiscal year 2023-24. The government’s health budgetary support is one of the lowest in the WHO South-East Asia region.
Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Bangladesh Country Lead of GHAI; Dr Shamim Jubayer, Program Manag-er, Hypertension Control Program, National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute; and ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA; joined the workshop as discussants.
The key-note presentation was delivered by PROGGA’s Coordinator Sadia Galiba Prova.

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