Dhaka, Sep 20 (UNB) – A daylong workshop on National Qualification Framework of Dhaka region was held at University Grant Commission (UGC) auditorium on Thursday.
Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) of UGC organised the workshop where its chairman Professor Abdul Mannan was present as the chief guest, said a press release.
UGC Member, prof Dr. Md Akhtar Hossain was special guest while prof Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Adhikary, Head of Quality Assurance Unit presided over the workshop.
Ajit Kumar Debnath, Acting Project Director (Joint Secretary) of Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP) delivered the address of welcome.
International QA Expert and Professor of Nottingham University Malaysia Campus Rozilini Fernandez Chung facilitated the workshop.
UGC Chairman said that national qualification framework is highly needed for ensuring quality education at tertiary level to compete with others in national and international arena in today’s competitive world.
Terming education as service not business, he urged the university authorities to provide quality education to make the students competent for global employment market.
Vice-Chancellors from different public and private universities in Dhaka region, Dr. Md Khaled, Secretary of UGC, Directors of Institutional quality assurance cell of different public and private universities in Dhaka region, high officials from UGC, HEQEP and QAU were present on the occasion.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) - Under-five mortality rate in Bangladesh is 32 per 1000 live births, according to new mortality estimates released by Unicef, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group on Thursday.
It has significantly reduced from 532,000 deaths in 1990 to 100,000 in 2017. Among them, little over half are newborns, who die in the first 28 days of their live, according to a report UNB received from New York.
The government has taken multiple initiatives to address the gaps in newborn care, such as launching National Newborn Campaign to promote affordable interventions at community and household level for essential newborn care for all newborns.
In early September 2018, the government launched the National Newborn Health Programme that brings focus on the critical interventions to be scaled up in all 64 districts of the country.
To save the lives of the sick and low-birth weight babies, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is partnering with Unicef and partners to establish Special Newborn Care Units (SCANUs) in Bangladesh.
The SCANUs provide specialised care for the sick and low-birth weight babies who are most vulnerable and bear the highest mortality risk.
An estimated 6.3 million under-15 children died in 2017 or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable causes, according to the new mortality estimates.
The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths.
“Without urgent action, 56 million children under five will die from now until 2030 – half of them newborns,” said Laurence Chandy, Unicef Director of Data, Research and Policy.
“We have made remarkable progress to save children since 1990, but millions are still dying because of who they are and where they are born. With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines, we can change that reality for every child.”
Globally, in 2017, half of all deaths under five years of age took place in sub-Saharan Africa, and another 30 percent in Southern Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 13 children died before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, that number was 1 in 185.
“Millions of babies and children should not still be dying every year from lack of access to water, sanitation, proper nutrition or basic health services,” said Dr Princess Nono Simelela, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women and Children’s Health at WHO.
“We must prioritise providing universal access to quality health services for every child, particularly around the time of birth and through the early years, to give them the best possible chance to survive and thrive.”
Most under -5 children die due to preventable or treatable causes such as complications during birth, pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal sepsis and malaria. By comparison, among children between 5 and 14 years of age, injuries become a more prominent cause of death, especially from drowning and road traffic.
Within this age group, regional differences also exist, with the risk of dying for a child from sub-Saharan Africa 15 times higher than in Europe.
“More than six million children dying before their fifteenth birthday is a cost we simply can’t afford,” said Timothy Evans, Senior Director and Head of the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice at the World Bank Group.
“Ending preventable deaths and investing in the health of young people is a basic foundation for building countries’ human capital, which will drive their future growth and prosperity.”
For children everywhere, the most risky period of life is the first month. In 2017, 2.5 million newborns died in their first month.
A baby born in sub-Saharan Africa or in Southern Asia was nine times more likely to die in the first month than a baby born in a high-income country. And progress towards saving newborns has been slower than for other children under five years of age since 1990.
Even within countries, disparities persist. Under-five mortality rates among children in rural areas are, on average, 50 percent higher than among children in urban areas. In addition, those born to uneducated mothers are more than twice are likely to die before turning five than those born to mothers with a secondary or higher education.
Despite these challenges, fewer children are dying each year worldwide. The number of children dying under five has fallen dramatically from 12.6 million in 1990 to 5.4 million in 2017. The number of deaths in older children aged between 5 to 14 years dropped from 1.7 million to under a million in the same period.
“This new report highlights the remarkable progress since 1990 in reducing mortality among children and young adolescents,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin.
“Reducing inequality by assisting the most vulnerable newborns, children and mothers is essential for achieving the target of the Sustainable Development Goals on ending preventable childhood deaths and for ensuring that no one is left behind,” Zhenmin added.
Dhaka, Sep 20 (UNB) – Speakers at an award function on Thursday called for wider media focus on the concerns regarding extremism so that all stakeholders in the society can help promote peace and tolerance.
They called for greater role playing by the media in promoting the causes of peace and tolerance.
Society for Media and Suitable Human-communication Techniques (SoMaSHTe) with the support of USAID organized the programme at The Daily Star Centre in the city to award 13 Dhaka and Rajshahi-based mainstream journalists and citizen journalists for their works highlighting importance of defusing extremism and promoting peace in the country.
Masud Rana of Jago News 24, Jamil Khan of The Daily Star and Rashidul Huq Rusho of Ekattor Television received first, second and third prizes in mainstream media category while Hadisur Rahman, Raqibul Hossain and Malequzzaman Shaha got first, second and third prizes in citizen journalist category.
With ex-chief information commissioner Dr M Golam Rahman in the chair the programme was attended by ex-VC of Dhaka University Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique as chief guest. Journalists Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Syed Ishtiaque Reza and Ajoy Dasgupta, among others, also spoke at the programme conducted by SoMaSHTe Director Mir Masrur Zaman. Earlier another SoMaSHTe Mir Shahidul Alam delivered welcome speech.
In their speeches both Prof Arefin Siddique and Prof Golam Rahman stressed on the need for more media attention to the concerns about rise of extremism and said there should be media reports promoting the causes of peace and tolerance in the society.
Some of the awardees also expressed their views on the theme of peace and shared some work experiences as well.
Chattogram, Sept 20 (UNB) – Customs officials have seized 208 kilograms contraband Ethiopian cannabis, also known as 'Khat' from the port city.
Two consignments of the drug were seized on September 6, Customs Commissioner Dr. A K M Nuruzzaman revealed the information at a press briefing at Chattogram Customs house here on Thursday.
The consignments, labeled as green tea, came to Dhaka Post office from Ethiopian.
From Dhaka post office, a consignment of 13 cartons ‘khat’ weighing 160kg was sent to Chattogram to the address of Md Iftekhar Hossain, house no-23, road-1, lane-4, New A Block Halishahar and another consignment of 10 cartons weighing 48 kg to Arif Enterprise, Shantidhara residential area, Shanti Company, Feni Sadar, Feni, he said.
On secret information, a team of customs officials raided Foreign Exchange Branch of Bangladesh Post office in the port city and seized the contraband drug.
After examination, it was proved that those were not green tea but drugs.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) - Bangladesh needs to ensure safe food for its people by 2041 to achieve its goal of becoming a developed country, said Food Minister Quamrul Islam on Thursday.
Ensuring food safety is possible with raising awareness and everyone’s support, he said while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled ‘Drive against Food Adulteration: Institutional Crisis’.
Desh Info and Watchdog Bangladesh jointly organised the seminar.
“Bangladesh is becoming a middle-income and developing country while we’re marching forward to become developed one by 2041. So, we’ve to ensure food safety in our country like other developing and developed countries,” said Quamrul Islam.
The minister also said the government will categorise restaurants in Motijheel areas based on their performance of safe and quality food production and supply.
"In the Motijheel areas, the Safe Food Authority is conducting research on 200 restaurants. The best food processors will be marked as the ‘Green’ one, the better one as ‘Yellow’ one and the bad one as the ‘Red’," he said.
The minister added that if any restaurant fails to maintain the standard of food it will be marked as ‘Red’ and the owner will be given one month’s time to improve its standard and if it fails to improve, the restaurant will be sealed off.
Mentioning the existing Food Safety Act as complex one, the minister said Bangladesh will soon succeed in making the law completely effective. “To make the law effective, the most important thing is to create public awareness. Without creating public awareness, ensuring food safety, adulteration and pollution-free food is not possible.”
The government is undertaking various training and awareness-building programmes for those involved in producing, manufacturing, packaging, preserving and serving food, said the minister.
He also said a huge number of people in the country depend on street foods and that is why safe street foods are also needed to be ensured.
Citing a 2004 study of World Health Organization (WHO), Rashed Chowdhury, Editor of the online web portal Desh Info, in his keynote paper said every year around 3 lakh people get affected by cancer only because of consuming adulterated food, while 1.50 lakh by diabetes and around 2 lakh kidney diseases.
Around 15 lakh physically-challenged children are born as a result of food adulteration, he added.
While a total of 18 ministries and agencies of the government are working to ensure food safety, these organisations should be made accountable alongside increasing their efficiency, Rashed Chowdhury added.
Chairman of Poribesh Banchao Andolon (Poba) Abu Naser Khan urged the government to make the reports public after testing food products and prevent the use of harmful materials and pesticides during food manufacturing.
Prof Khaleda Islam of Dhaka University’s Institute of Nutrition and Food Science (INFS), Chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque and Assistant Director of BSTI Reazul Haque, among others, spoke at the programme.