Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday (Dec 6) underscored the need for giving collective efforts in ensuring access to insulin and other life-saving drugs at an affordable price for the poor.
She said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many fault-lines in our global health system. We must draw lessons from that experience to address the inequities that can be even more fatal for diabetes and other NCDs."
The premier said this in a video message aired in the World Diabetes Congress-2022 as a 'Global Ambassador for Diabetes' in Lisbon, Portugal.
On behalf of all diabetic patients and caregivers, she said, "I call upon the world leaders to bring an immediate end to the Russia-Ukraine war. We must stop the international arms race and use the much-needed resources for our peoples' health and education."
"We need to have a world of peace to make sure that we can reach the right treatment and care to everyone diagonosed with diabetes and related co-morbidities," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said international political will must be mobilized to invest in diabetes prevention, treatment and research.
The Prime Minister called upon the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to join hands with World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant global health actors to help implement the Global Diabetes Compact.
"There is no alternative to international financing for the prevention, treatment and research of diabetes," she added.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that WHO says that around 422 million people in the world suffer from diabetes and the disease costs around 1.5 million lives every year.
In Bangladesh, she said that more than 8.5 million people, including children, live with diabetes and related co-morbidities.
The Prime Minister, however, said complications and premature death from diabetes can be prevented.
Mentioning that some lifestyle changes like regular exercise and a healthy diet can make a lot of difference, she said with the right medication and caution, a diabetes patient can enjoy a regular life.
The Prime Minister said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises Non-communicable Diseases-NCDs like diabetes to be a major challenge.
She appreciated the work being done by IDF for promoting diabetes prevention, care and cure, saying it brings together 240 national diabetes associations' under one umbrella and this is indeed a unique achievement.
The Premier recalled Bangladesh's previous association with IDF in declaring 14 November as the World Diabetes Day through a UN General Assembly Resolution.
Bangladesh targets to reduce premature mortality from diabetes and other major NCDs by one-third by 2030, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been implementing a pro-people health policy that gives importance to diabetes prevention and control through community awareness.
Her government offers free treatment to diabetic patients in the country's public sector hospitals, the Prime Minister added.
BDST: 1239 HRS, Dec 06, 2022