Your Excellency Mr. Zahid Maleque MP,
Honorable Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh and PPD Board and Executive Committee Member
Mr Ali Noor
Secretary, Medical Education, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh and Chair of the ceremony
Mr. Liu Zhenhua,
Economic and Commercial Counselor, Embassy of China, Dhaka,
Mr. He Zhaohua,
Deputy Director General, Department of International Cooperation, National Health Commission (NHC), Government of China
Dr Asa Torkelsson;
UNFPA Country Director, Bangladesh
Your Excellences and Representatives from Embassies and High Commissions of PPD member countries in Dhaka,
Distinguished senior officials from the MOHFW,
Representative from Chinese Partners and from specialized National organizations in Bangladesh,
Representatives from the districts and the media
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Participants, Ladies and Gentleman,
Good afternoon and Asasalamu Alaikum
At the very outset, I wish to thank all the dignitaries, friends and colleagues for joining us in this virtual Project Launching Meeting despite your busy schedules. We are gathered today to bring the voices of mothers who are threatened in their lives and may die while giving births. We are gathered for a common objective which is to contribute to the Government’s efforts in Reducing Maternal Mortality in Bangladesh” one of the main priorities of the MOHFW while addressing other public health emergencies and challenges including the fight against the spread of this unprecedented and deadly virus.
Excellency, Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen;
As you know, the Policy Makers from 27 PPD Member Countries including Bangladesh met in Tunis during the 24th PPD Board Meeting in September 2019 and over a thousand of representatives from Governments and international organizations who met in Nairobi Summit in November 2019 made strong commitment to reduce and eliminate Maternal Mortality from their respective constituencies. Today, we come with a concrete response to the commitment made by H.E. Minister Zahid Maleque during both events on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh.
I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Government of China, particularly the PPD Board Chair Her Excellency Dr. Li Bin, Hon. Secretary General of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, for offering generous assistance to reduce maternal mortality in the PPD Member countries, initially in Bangladesh, Ghana and Uganda.
On the same note, I must pay my profound tribute to the exemplary leadership of H.E. Mr. Zahid Maleque Hon. Minister of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh and PPD Executive Committee and Board Member, who has been the main architect in implementing this interregional project in Bangladesh. Hon. Minister, we commit ourselves to honor your commitment by successfully implementing the project. The impact of this project will continue to complement the Government efforts in reducing maternal mortality in Bangladesh in the days to come, which is currently around 170 per 100,000 live births. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targeted to bring the maternal mortality to 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, while UNFPA is even more ambitious to bring it down to zero in the earliest possible time by achieving renewed ICPD Goals.
Excellency, Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentleman,
This project presents the best example of South-South Cooperation (SSC) by promoting the friendship and solidarity among developing nations and improving the lives of their people, and these are the principles and foundations of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) since its launching in 1994 in Cairo during ICPD. Both the SDG and ICPD are committed, among others, to reduce the maternal mortality within a foreseeable timeframe.
The innovative and transformational South-South Cooperation (SSC) mechanism would be the essential catalyst to the achievement of maternal mortality reduction, including implementation of the ICPD and SDGs.
In this regard, I wish to invite UNFPA, WHO and other partners to work with PPD Secretariat and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare contributing jointly to the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh in reducing MM and achieve SDGs by 2030.
Last year, PPD Secretariat successfully completed the implementation of the construction of 36 Community Clinics in remote rural areas of Bangladesh with support from the Indian Government, facilitated by its High Commission in Dhaka and complementing the Government efforts in bringing the healthcare services to the doorstep of the grass root population.
PPD intends to develop them into model healthcare providers strengthening other community clinics and supporting the Government vision to ensure universal healthcare services in Bangladesh. Today, PPD Secretariat is proud to make another contribution to its host country by providing appropriate and safe interventions to prevent maternal deaths.
Once again, I wish to thank the Hon. Minister for sparing his valuable time to grace this Project Launching Meeting. My sincere thanks and gratitude are due to the Hon. Secretary and other high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh including the colleagues implementing the project at the field level. I also thank our Chinese partners from The Embassy of China in Dhaka, the Chinese National Health Commission and the National Research Institute for Family Planning (NRIFP) of China who are attending this meeting, UNFPA Country Director, Excellences and Representatives from Embassies and High Commissions of PPD member states in Dhaka and through them their respective governments for the continued support and commitment to PPD and to SSC, our friend and colleague Mr. Nitish Chandra Sarkar, Additional Secretary, MoHFW, and Partner Country Coordinator of Bangladesh for PPD who is providing important assistance and support to the Secretariat, friends from the Media and all participants in this China-PPD-Bangladesh Project Launching Meeting.
Thank you all for your attention.