Health experts have said the rate of premature deaths caused by non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes and cancer is on the rise posing a challenge to achieving the SDG targets of Bangladesh.
About 70% of the country's total death occurs due to NCDs, they added at a programme on Wednesday.
In Bangladesh, seven out of every 10 people die of NCDs. Moreover, in rural areas, one out of every three patients with hypertension and diabetes suffer from kidney disease. But they are not aware of it.
These facts were disclosed at the inaugural session of the three-day '1st International Conference on NCDs 2022' at a city hotel which will continue till 28 January.
Thirty national and international organisations including the Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme, Bangladesh Non-Communicable Disease Forum, Bangladesh Clinical Research Platform, Bangladesh Health Reporters' Forum, ICDDR,B, BSMMU, Brac, Dhaka University and Popular Medical College jointly organised the programme.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque was present as chief guest while World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined the conference virtually.
In his speech, Tedros Adhanom said many low- and middle-income countries including Bangladesh are facing a challenge in achieving the sustainable development goal targets due to the prevalence of NCDs. NCD is rising due to the use of tobacco and an unhealthy lifestyle.
He assured of supporting Bangladesh in NCD control and prevention.
Adhanom also called for ensuring equitable medical care and services at the primary healthcare level for NCD patients.
Zahid Maleque said 20% of the population suffer from hypertension while 10% from diabetes and 20 lakh from cancer creating high public health risk and concern.
The minister informed that the government has undertaken sector-wide programmes to curb NCDs. Hospitals will be set up in eight divisions for cancer, kidney and heart disease. In the district hospitals, 10-bed dialysis and ICU unit will be set up.
In the conference, health experts said that 50 out of 100 patients who have hypertension do not know about the disease. Fifty out of 100 hypertension patients do not have their pressure under control while the blood pressure of 77 patients out of 100 is not under control despite taking medicine. The situation is the same for diabetes.
Dr Aliya Naheed, head, initiative for non-communicable diseases health system and population studies division said people go to the pharmacy to check hypertension and diabetes and start taking medication. They do not go to the physicians and that is making the situation alarming.