February 18, 2015
Honorable Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Mohammad Nasim,
Mr. Syed Monjurul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
Mr. Shahela Khatun, National Professor and Chairperson,
Prof. Dr. Monjurul Hossain, Director, Dhaka Shishu Hospital,
Ladies and gentlemen.
Assalam alaikum and good morning.
I am pleased to attend the occasion of celebrating inauguration of the cardiac ward of Dhaka Shishu (Children's) Hospital.
Dhaka Shishu Hospital has been a renowned focal point of child healthcare from the outset of Bangladesh. It has also been a dedicated institute for postgraduate training of pediatrics.
The relationship between Dhaka Shishu Hospital and Japan goes back to 1980s when Japan provided a financial assistance to build and renovate the hospital's part for thalassemia. During the late 1980s, the hospital collaborated with Japanese experts dispatched through JICA's technical cooperation to establish proper diagnostic skills against rheumatic heart disease so that Bangladeshi children would not suffer from the preventable heart disease any longer. From 1986 to 2003, as many as thirty-five young Japanese volunteers worked for two years each at the hospital as nurses, laboratory technicians or clinical examiners.
Extending our long, rewarding relationship, JICA is financing twenty-seven kinds of medical equipment for cardiology and thalassemia amounting to 8 crore taka for the hospital as a part of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Improvement Project Phase 1. I hope those equipment will be made the best use of at the newly established Cardiac Ward.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Bangladesh has made great strides in maternal and infant mortality. It is achieving this year 75% reduction of maternal mortality and 2/3rd reduction of child mortality as compared to those figures in 1990. I am proud to say JICA has been a part of some help to this remarkable achievement through its technical, financial and volunteer assistance.
Still there is a long way to go. If Bangladesh is to be a middle-income country by 2021, it should realize a suitable state of child health by then. In that process, the role to be played by Dhaka Shishu Hospital cannot be overstressed, for it is the leading special institute and the last bastion for child health in Bangladesh. We will be happy to stay in cooperation with the hospital to save children, the one and only hope not only for Bangladesh but for the world.
Shobaike Annek Donnobad. Thank you very much.