Speakers at a round table said that the government has many challenges ahead to eliminate malaria from the country. Health department under the supervision of ministry has to increase their surveillance to make the malaria elimination activities success.
They said the ministry has to find the lacking in the elimination efforts, and address the issue particularly in order to raise awareness among the people and achieve success.
Speakers made the observations at a roundtable titled ‘Bangladesh to eradicate malaria: reality and impediment’, organised jointly by Health Department’s National Malaria Elimination Program, BRAC and a national daily Samakal at Brac Centre in the capital on Thursday.
At the event, a number of experts placed their suggestions to eradicate malaria form the country.
Speakers said some of the 13 risk-prone malaraia districts do not have malaria infection at a time when infection coming from neighboring India is increasing the number of malaria affected patients.
They stressed on reaching malaria medicine to affected areas in time. Jum farmers and people living in hilly areas are being infected with malaria. Their position also needs to consider.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim was present at the roundtable as the chief guest.
Expressing hope to eradicate malaria from the country within a short time, he said, “Under the leadership of Father of the Nation, we got freedom in a short time and under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina we are now on development highway by tackling poverty. So, why cannot we eliminate malaria? Soon we will achieve success.”
Emphasizing on use of mosquito net, the minister said, “We have to ensure use of mosquito nets besides distributing it.”
“The government is giving importance to tackling of infected diseases. For this reason, a new law has been enacted in the parliament where malaria eradication has given the highest priority. If we analyse statistics of previous years, success in malaria annihilation can be found. Like polio, it will also eliminate by the set time frame,” he assured.
He said, “During last one week, the PM has inaugurated Tk 4000 crore development work in health sector. Soon a latest medicine factory named UDCL Factory at Gopalganj will be inaugurated by her.”
Acting editor of Samakal Mustafiz Shafi presided over the roundtable while Health Department’s National Malaria Control Program Manager Dr MM Akteruzzaman presented the keynote paper while director (disease control unit) of DGHS Prof Dr Sania Tahmina was present as special guest.
Among others, BRAC Director (Communicable Diseases, Wash and DMCC Program) Akramul Islam, World Health Organisation’s (WHO) communicable diseases surveillance Dr Mia Sepal, former NPO of WHO Dr A Mannan Bangali, evaluator of National Malaria Control Program Dr Abu Naim Md Sohel also spoke on the occasion.

Staff Correspondent