Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been named as the ‘Global Ambassador for Diabetes’ by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) at the Opening Ceremony of the World Diabetes Congress 2022 held in Lisbon.
She is the first Global Ambassador for Diabetes, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Portugal Tarik Ahsan received the certificate of the honorary title ‘Global Ambassador for Diabetes’, on behalf of the Prime Minister, from the President-elect of the IDF Prof. Akhtar Hussain on Monday.
In a video message played at the event, Prime Minister Hasina expressed her commitment to do her part as the Global Ambassador to bring the matter to the attention of world leaders.
She also advocated for world peace, mentioning, in her speech, “On behalf of all diabetes patients and caregivers, I call upon the world leaders to bring an immediate end to the war in Ukraine. We must stop the international arms race and use the much-needed resources for our peoples’ health and education.”
She thanked the IDF for the honour and regretted not being able to be present at the event in person.
She said that, in Bangladesh, more than 8.5 million people, including children, live with diabetes and related co-morbidities, while the number is around 422 million worldwide.
Emphasising the importance of changing dietary habits and raising public awareness, she said that Bangladesh is giving due importance to diabetes prevention and control through community awareness and implementation of the pro-people health policy.
Bangladesh offers free treatment to diabetes patients in public sector hospitals and started offering insulin for free as well.
More than 18,000 community clinics and union health centres across the country are equipped with trained professionals and diabetes testing facilities.
Recognising the non-communicable diseases like diabetes as a major challenge for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the prime minister underscored the need of mobilizing international political will to invest in diabetes prevention, treatment and research.
The ceremony was attended by outgoing President of IDF Prof. Andrew Boulton, other office bearers of IDF and participants of the Congress.
Participants included doctors, health professionals and medical personnel. Many of whom were from Bangladesh.
The event was also attended by officials of the Bangladesh Embassy as well as leaders, journalists and members of the expatriate Bangladesh community of Portugal.
The honorary title of Global Ambassador for Diabetes is bestowed upon one individual in recognition of his/her contribution to improving the lives of people living with diabetes.
The Global Ambassador for Diabetes represents the voice of people living with diabetes worldwide for two years.
In his speech on the occasion, Ambassador Tarik Ahsan said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a “champion of people-centric development”.
He remarked that, under her leadership, Bangladesh has become a role model for developing countries by achieving impressive socio-economic development through human development of the population, particularly in the areas of health, education and women empowerment.
He added that, as an important element of human development, the health sector always received special attention from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In this context, the Ambassador referred to the establishment of innovative Community Clinics across Bangladesh “as a brainchild of Prime Minister Hasina, to her prudent leadership in successful navigation of covid19 pandemic and to the awards in health sector, such as, MDG Award, South-South Award and Vaccine Hero Award, among numerous international awards and recognitions, received so far by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina”.