Netherlands praises Bangladesh for mental health protection


DHAKA, Oct 13 , 2019 (BSS)- Health minister Jahid Malek has said Bangladesh has received global acclamation for protecting health and generously hosting Rohingyas.

“In the past mental health received meager attention in the country. But under the leadership of Prime minister Sheikh Hasina the present government introduced medical services for them in each district and upazila hospital…. ” Malek said this as he led the Bangladesh delegation at a conference titled-`Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in crisis situation ‘ in Amsterdam.

Malek said, “Bangladesh has been paying special attention to the development of mental health services for achieving the mental health related SDGs.”

In continuation of this, the old mental health law- Indian Lunacy Act 1912- was abolished in the parliament and new Mental Health Act 2018 has been passed.

In addition, work is underway to implement a ‘National Mental Health Strategic Plan’ under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s daughter and mental health advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization Saima Wazed Hossain, to provide a sustainable solution to the mental health problem, he added.

Minister for the Netherlands Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag inaugurated the conference.

Malek urged the Dutch minister to put pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas to their homeland.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Elhadj As Sy, Assistant-Director General of WHO for Communicable Diseases Ren Minghui and representatives of different countries were also present at the seminar.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal was present at the seminar.