Public health experts at a programme said that a concerted effort from government bodies as well as civil society organisations is necessary to build mass awareness on the importance of a healthy lifestyle to make youth free from risks of hypertension and heart diseases.
At a webinar titled "Hypertension, Heart Diseases and Our Youths", they have also asked the government to implement the "Controlling Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs Regulations, 2021" to combat risks of heart diseases owed to trans-fat intake.
Research and advocacy organisation Progga (Knowledge for Progress) in association with Global Health Advocacy Incubator (Ghai) organised the webinar on Saturday marking International Youth Day.
Speakers said at the programme that the prevalence of hypertension and heart diseases among youths in Bangladesh is increasing alarmingly due to the consumption of unhealthy and trans-fat-laden food, lack of sports and physical activities, tobacco use and obesity, etc among youths.
Hypertension causes increased risks of heart diseases and related mortalities and it is quite alarming that one in every five adults in Bangladesh has hypertension.
According to the Population and Housing Census 2022, the total number of youths in Bangladesh is currently 45.9 million. Hypertension care and supply of drugs must be ensured at all primary healthcare centres to safeguard youths.
Ghai Bangladesh Country Lead Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Professor of the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh Dr Sohel Reza Choudhury, Programme Manager-1 of the Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme of the Directorate General of Health Services Dr Fazla Alahi Khan, Cardiologist and Consultant of Labaid Specialized Hospital Dr Sumanta Kumer Saha, President of Bangladesh Health Reporters' Forum and Senior Correspondent of the Daily Amader Somoy Rashed Rabbi, and Executive Director of Progga ABM Zubair were present at the webinar as discussants.
The webinar was conducted by Progga's Coordinator Mahmud Al Islam Shihab.
Youth representatives and people of diversified socio-economic strata from all over the country participated in the webinar.