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Ensure supply of safe food to control NCD

Currently, 67% of total deaths in Bangladesh happen due to non-communicable diseases. In order to provide safe food for controlling non-communicable diseases, necessary steps should be taken by various government agencies to ensure effective implementation of existing laws and policies. Speakers expressed this in a discussion meeting at Institute of Public Health on 11 April 2018. The meeting titled “Ensuring healthy food for NCD control” jointly organized by NCDC-DGHS, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust and CNRS.

The discussion meeting presided by Dr. Nur Mohammad, Line Director of NCDC-DGHS. National Professor Brig. (Rtd) Abdul Malik was present as the Chief Guest. Professor Dr. AHM Anayet Hossain, ADG of DGHS was present as Special Guest. As honorable guest there also present Shafiqul Islam, Country Advisor to Vital Strategies; Dr. Syed Mahfuzul Huq, National Professional Officer of WHO; Abu Naser Khan, Chairman of POBA; Dr. Khaleda Islam, Professor of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka and Gaous Pearee, Director of WBB Trust.

In the key-note presentation speakers said, ‘In Bangladesh, NCDs are increasing alarmingly.  Unhealthy food intake is one of the main causes of NCD. There are 8 ministries and 25 laws related to food safety and quality protection. Through these laws, it is possible to control standard of food, price and ensuring marketing. However, for this purpose, coordinated and long-term plan among all ministries and departments is needed.’

In the discussion speakers said, ‘We need food to survive. But unhealthy food is hazardous for life. There is no alternative of safe food for public health protection. Living a healthy life by changing the lifestyle also need as well as ensuring nutritious food. Children have to make aware about healthy diet. To ensure safe food for all, there must ensure healthiness in food production, processing, marketing and food intake. Taxes should be increased on fast food, junk food, soft drinks and other unhealthy foods. As well as public awareness, law implementation is necessary. Healthy eating habits should be developed in the family.’

Among others, Dr. Mozaherul Islam, Founder president of Public Health foundation; Dr. Habibullah Talukder, Associate Professor of Bangladesh Cancer Research Institute and Hospital; Journalist Shushanto Sinha; Saida Akter, Coordinator of TABINAJ and Shagufta Sultana, Team Leader of Child TB project at IRD Bangladesh took part in the open discussion.