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Dhaka with int’l community against NCDs: FM

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Staff reporter
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Wednesday said Bangladesh is working together with the international community to incorporate non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the framework of the post-2015 development agenda.
“Our diplomatic initiative has not remained confined to communicable diseases alone,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of an international conference in the city.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh has become ‘quite active’ in evolving international discourse on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with the evolution of the disease burden scenario at the national and regional levels.
Mahmood Ali also said Bangladesh government would continue, along with other regional and like-minded countries, to pursue peaceful use of nuclear energy for promoting the wellbeing and development of people.
“We would always remain receptive to any constructive and forward-looking suggestions from them to give added attention to any pressing issues - like the one we’re discussing here - through the mainstream regional cooperation mechanisms,” he said.
The Foreign Minister went on saying, “Bangladesh has already made some progress in nuclear medicine and radiology which I believe can be further enhanced through human resource development and technology transfer in radiation oncology and imaging.”
Bangladesh Medical Physics Society, Association of Medical Physicists of India and Nepalese Association of Medical Physicists are jointly hosting the three-day conference titled ‘Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology and Imaging’ at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
German Charge d'Affaires Dr Ferdinand von Weyhe, Asia-Oceania Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics President Prof Dr Yimin Hu and Gono Biswabidyalay Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mesbahuddin Ahmed, among others, spoke at the function held with BSMMU Vice Chancellor Prof Pran Gopal Datta in the chair.
The Foreign Minister said there is potential for further expansion of medical physics in radio oncology and imaging in Bangladesh and South Asia.
“Although it is not always as obvious to the wider public, issues concerning global public health have increasingly become a critical element in our national foreign policy pursuit,” he added.
Mahmood Ali mentioned that about two hundred thousand patients are newly diagnosed with cancer in Bangladesh every year and this evidently puts a strain on the limited resources and specialization available in Bangladesh’s public health sector, especially for cancer treatment.
“Against this backdrop, it is only natural that our government would remain sensitized to the need for further investment in effective prevention, cure and treatment of the deadly disease of cancer,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said the government is committed to delivering on the wellbeing of its people, wants to be further responsive to the emerging need for further capacity building in medical physics and radiation oncology.
He said Bangladesh would continue to encourage its professionals, including medical practitioners, to pursue meaningful cooperation among themselves in the greater interest of all people in parallel with the regular political engagements around different regional fora like Saarc and Bimstec.
Some 350 experts from 24 countries are taking part in the conference.