Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday directed the Health Ministry to take necessary steps for creating posts and appointing 10,000 more nurses to ensure better treatment of the country’s common people.
"I'm asking the Health Minister to come up with a proposal for appointing 10,000 more nurses...it has to be done in consultation with the Ministry of Public Administration and Finance...there’ll be no problem to this end as I'm giving guaranty," she said.
The Prime Minister made the directive while inaugurating the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 (August 1-7) at the city’s Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the morning.
The theme of the week this year is ‘Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life’.
Presided over by Health Secretary MM Niazuddin, the function was addressed, among others, by Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Sate Minister for Health Zahid Malek, DG of Health Services Dr Deen Mohd Nurul Haq, DG Family Planning M Nur Hossain Talukder, Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation Chairperson Dr SK Roy and Institute of Public Health Nutrition DG Dr M Shah Newaz.
Hasina also said some 6,221 assistant surgeons of BCS cadre will join their jobs on Thursday as they became successful in the 33rd BCS examination.
Rationalizing the need for appointing more nurses, Hasina said more nurses should be appointed to ensure proper medical services to patients.
She said complaints are often received that the nurses do not behave decently with patients, but it has to be considered that the nurses work under tremendous pressure as they have to deal with so many patients. "There’s also a need for properly trained specialized nurses."
Mentioning that the government has upgraded the post of nurses to class II, Sheikh Hasina said her government has also taken steps so that the nurses could receive higher education like graduation, masters and PhD degrees, while nursing institutes are being set up in every district gradually.
The Prime Minister also directed the ministry to take steps for establishing breastfeeding corners at all government and private offices as well as in bus and railway stations, launch terminals, shopping malls and other public places so that the mothers can breastfeed their babies at ease and comfort.
She announced that a Shishu hospital will be established in every division and a specialized child ward with all modern treatment facilities would be opened in every district hospital.
Hasina also stressed the need for establishing more Shishu hospitals in the capital considering the growing demand for treatment, and urged every family member to take proper care of lactating and expectant mothers.
Although many term powdered milk as substitute milk for babies, Hasina said there is no alternative to breastfeeding as it enhances the mental strength of babies, creates a nice relationship between mothers and children and creates their unique personality.
Putting emphasis on ensuring safe delivery of mothers, the PM asked the Health Ministry to train the midwives across the country for the purpose as well as ensuring nutrition in foods supplied to different public hospitals through supervision by nutritionists.
The Prime Minister said every newborn should be given breast milk within one hour of its birth and only breastfeeding during the first six months while breastfeeding along with homemade substitute foods up to two years is ideal for a baby.
In this context, the Prime Minister directed all concerned to ensure that such food for the babies are nutrition enriched and hygienic.
Referring to the enactment of the law on Breastfeeding Substitute Food, (Marketing Control) Act 2013 by her government, Hasina requested all concerned to ensure appropriate enforcement of the law.
About her directives of 2009 to observe the Breast Feeding Week officially, the Prime Minister said awareness on the issue has been increased in the last couple of years due to massive campaign and wide observance of the week.
She said the rate of breastfeeding below six months baby has been increased significantly and it rose to 64 percent in the last five years from 47 percent in 2009.
Citing statistics of the World Health Organization, Hasina said if all the newborns of the world are given only breast milk up to six month, the untimely death of over 15 lakh children could be prevented every year.
Hasina said there is no need for extra money for breastfeeding - only some extra food and care would be needed for breast-feeding mother for her good health.
The Prime Minister said ensuring good health and appropriate nutrition for the children is the prerequisite for building a developed nation and her government gave priority on the development of health and nutrition.
Besides, she mentioned the recruitment of some 13,250 community health care providers, appointment of some 2,440 assistant surgeons alongside 196 assistant dental surgeons through BCS in the last five years apart from appointing some 4,133 assistant surgeons on ad-hoc basis.
Besides, she said that appointment of some 1020 sub assistant community medical officer is under process.
Earlier, the Prime Minister and other guests at the Dias unveiled the cover of a book titled 'Development of Complementary Recipe Book for 6-23 months children'.