Thursday, 2 February, 2023
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Bangladesh taking initiatives to ensure mental health services: Maleque

Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said Bangladesh is taking many effective initiatives to ensure mental health services to the people.

"We are implementing various mental health programmes in line with our policy to provide quality mental healthcare facilities," he told a workshop titled "Community mental health" of the Global Mental Health Summit (GMHS) in Rome, an official release said. 

The two-day summit began on October 13 and ended on October 14, the release added. 

The minister said under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh would be able to reach mental healthcare service to the doorsteps of common people. 

This year's Summit theme is "Skills, Rights, Care: Time to Act" advancing a community-based approach to mental health, and was hosted by the Italian Government, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), to increase mental health awareness and strengthen global action on key issues related to mental health care.

He said, "We are taking necessary measures to build mental health hospitals at eight divisional cities and provide mental health service at upazila level hospitals." 

Bangladesh also has taken the initiative for introducing school mental health programme to create awareness among children, he added. 

After the conference, the health minister joined a brief discussion with representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) and he highlighted holistic situation of the heath sector of Bangladesh. 

He sought cooperation of the WHO to extend its support to create skilled healthcare professionals in the field of mental health.

The representatives of the WHO lauded the success of Bangladesh for handling COVID-19 pandemic as well as gradually improved health system. 

At the discussion, Maleque said Bangladesh has made huge infrastructural development including 14,000 community clinics, 4,000 family welfare centres and 500 hospitals at upazila level.