Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor M Atiqul Islam on Monday laid emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goal-3 which is ‘good health and wellbeing’ to deal with non-communicable diseases in a better way.
“I would like to work closely with non-communicable disease initiative of the government, icddr,b and other organisations to undertake behaviour change campaign in order to increase awareness related to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and kidney disease,” he said.Addressing a function, Atiqul said he will make digital boards in DNCC markets available for disseminating healthy lifestyle messages.
Strengthening Health, Applying Research Evidence (SHARE) project of icddr,b in collaboration with University College London (UCL), United Kingdom organised the event to discuss and launch two documentary films on prevention of non-communicable diseases among urban adolescents.
Addressing the question of ‘What influences what we eat?’, scientists at icddr,b and UCL have been working with schools in Bangladesh and in the UK to explore the daily environment of students in the two countries and the things they consider as determinants of what they eat.
The collaboration has initiated a public engagement programme with school students and the production of two documentary films where students themselves were behind the cameras.
The film ‘The Dhaka Diaries’ engaged the students of the IPH School and College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, while ‘The Food Diaries’ engaged the students of the Perse School (Cambridge) and the Cayley School (London).
The students captured their everyday environments to share their own perspectives on how these are driving unhealthy diets.Senior director, Maternal and Child Health Division at icddr,b Dr Shams El Arifeen stressed the importance of lifestyle and dietary changes to prevent non-communicable diseases.
Prof Sarah Hawkes of Global Public Health, Institute for Global Health, University College London spoke about the determinants of what adolescents eat.
In Bangladesh, as in much of the world, living environments, cities and diets are changing, and the risk of longer term, chronic illnesses are increasing, driven in part by changing diets, she said.
Prof Sarah said simply equipping young people with knowledge of healthier diets is not sufficient for preventing ill health.
Additional Director General of Health Services (Planning and Development) and Line Director, NCD, DGHS, Prof Dr AHM Enayet Hossain said the evidence that they have related to the consumption of unhealthy foods are very alarming and they are consuming double the amount of salt recommended by the World Health Organisation.
“We need to have more collaborative public engagement programme in order to raise awareness in promoting healthy diets,” he said.
Deputy Executive Director (DED) at icddr,b Syed Monjurul Islam appreciated the initiative and stressed the cooperation from the DNCC in this regard.
Freedom Fighter AKM Jashimuddin, Chairperson, IPH School and College, Dhaka, two students of IPH School and College also spoke on the occasion.
Strengthening Health, Applying Research Evidence (SHARE) project is supported by the European Union (EU).
The implementing partners of SHARE project are the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and Bangabandhu Shaikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).