Al Noor Eye Hospital

Public health care needs to be restructured

BANGLADESH has walked a long way to attain its health outcome expectations although bumps exist at the ground level and they are encountered now and then. Its health achievements are, in fact, spectacular in comparison with the allocations and expenditures made in the sector historically, as may be seen from the budgets made in the regional countries in or up to 2018.

Human resources for health

BANGLADESH has about six physicians per 10,000 of the population or 0.6 per 1,000. This makes the absolute number to be slightly more than one hundred thousand in total. A government-sponsored study, however, puts it at about 77,000. The total number of registered nurses is almost equal to that of the physicians, but the number of paramedics is abysmally low. The overall density in aggregate of all categories of health workers is 33.17 per 10,000 people — 3.32 per 1,000 people. Of these, 17.6 per cent, including clinicians, works in the public health sector while 82.4 per cent work in the private sector.

The global median for health workforce density is 48.6 per 10,000 people. Among 47 countries which fall below this median, Bangladesh is one. Two ratio-based WHO indicators are pertinent — one is the ratio of healthcare providers to population, which is 1.28 per 1,000 people, for addressing at least 80 per cent of the maternal and child healthcare needs and the other is 4.45 healthcare providers per 1,000 people to attain at least 80 per cent of the 12 health-related SDG targets and universal health coverage that Bangladesh is a party to. A 2006 report of the World Health Organisation suggests a physician, nurse and paramedic ratio to be 1:3:5. Another WHO analysis in 2016 suggested an increase in the number of physicians by 68 per cent, of nurses by 83 per cent and of other healthcare providers by 70 per cent in the South-East Asiam region. If the ratio of 1:3:5 is applied, it comes to 0.14, 0.43 and 0.71 of physicians, nurses and paramedics per 1,000 people for the required level of maternal and child health care. Bangladesh seems to have attained an adequate number of physicians keeping to this indicator, but an adequate number of nurses and paramedics. However, if the 12 SDG targets are considered, even the number of physicians is not adequate for Bangladesh.

Source: https://www.newagebd.net/article/157438/public-health-care-needs-to-be-restructured

World Sight Day observed globally on Oct 14

Thursday, October 14th, marks World Sight Day, which is an annual day for raising awareness on blindness and vision impairment.

World Sight Day is observed on the second Thursday of the month of October each year.

Like all other parts of the world, the day is also being observed in Bangladesh with necessary arrangements and activities.

Marking the celebration of the Day, National Eye Care of the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and International Non-government Organisations (INGOs) Forum for Eye Health have jointly undertaken different initiatives to raise awareness on blindness and vision impairment across the country.

The theme of this year’s World Sight Day is ‘love your eyes’.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 2.2 billion people, comprising a quarter of the world’s population, have a visual impairment.

Among them, most are people from low- and middle-income countries. Nearly everyone on the planet will experience an eye health issue in their lifetime and more than a billion people worldwide do not have access to eye care services.

Over half of this vision loss is preventable or treatable, but a lack of quality eye care services means that many people don’t get the care they need. And countries are losing out as a result, as it is estimated that the productivity loss of visual impairment and blindness is $410.7 billion globally each year.

On July 23, 2021, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the ‘Vision for Everyone; accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals‘ resolution committing the international community to eye health for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable sight loss by 2030.  The resolution was unanimously adopted by all 193 countries of the United Nations.

The adoption of this resolution, and the committee through which it was adopted, makes it clear that eye health is a priority development and human rights issue in the present world.

National Eye Care is arranging rallies, discussion meetings, advocacy and awareness programmes through electronic, print and social media.

130 Community Vision Centres at upazila health complexes, 64 district hospitals & base Hospitals (Medical College Hospital) are also celebrating this day with different activities under the guidance of  National Eye Care.

National and international NGO’s working in the eye care sector of Bangladesh are also organising different programmes themselves and also through their partner hospitals in coordination with National Eye Care to mark this day.

Emphasising the significance of the Day, Health Minister Zahid Maleque MP says: “World Sight Day is an important day for Bangladesh as this day reminds us of the importance of sight and eye health.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has adopted various initiatives including raising awareness about receiving eye health care treatments from the eye health facilities, said the health minister.

First UN resolution on vision impairment, introduced by Bangladesh, adopted unanimously

The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted the first-ever UN resolution on vision impairment, committing access to eye healthcare for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable sight loss by 2030.

Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN in New York, Ambassador Rabab Fatima introduced the resolution on behalf of the Friends of Vision, an informal like-minded group at the UN that advocates for greater access to eye healthcare for over two billion people currently living with various levels of visual impairment.

The resolution titled ‘Vision for Everyone: Accelerating Action to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’ is unique as it is the first agreement among the member states of this highest global body that is designed to tackle preventable sight loss, the Bangladesh Mission at the UN said today.

The other two co-chairs of the group are Antigua and Barbuda and Ireland, who joined Bangladesh in proposing the resolution. A total of 115 member states co-sponsored the resolution adopted yesterday.

Ambassador Fatima dedicated the resolution to all people around the world who are visually impaired or handicapped.

“1.1 billion people live with preventable sight loss. Preventable sight loss is a global challenge that needs a global solution – and that is what we have agreed today. What we agreed today will make a world of a difference to the lives of billions and their families and communities”, Ambassador Fatima said.

Ambassador Fatima also said millions of people globally lose their visions, needlessly. “And this phenomenon largely impedes their ability to contribute to their full potentials to the socio-economic development of their societies. The resolution before us has the potential to reverse this situation”.

The resolution called upon the member states to make eye health integral to their nation’s commitment to achieving the sustainable development goals.

The resolution also asked for international financial institutions and donors to provide targeted finances, especially to support developing countries in tackling preventable sight loss.

It called on relevant UN institutions to support global efforts to achieve vision for everyone to achieve the sustainable development goals. The resolution also called for new targets on eye care to be included in the UN’s sustainable development goals at its next review.

About 90 percent of the people who do not have access to proper eye healthcare live in low- and middle-income countries.