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Give health diplomacy a chance in Bangladesh-India relations: PPD


(Nurul Islam Hasib): The executive director of the Partners in Population and Development (PPD) has called upon the prime ministers of India and Bangladesh to give health sector collaboration a priority during their meetings.

“Health diplomacy must be given a chance,” Dr Joe Thomas told ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s four-day state visit from Friday.

The official meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take place on Saturday.

Headquartered in Dhaka, PPD is an inter-governmental alliance that collaborates with 26 member states in family planning, reproductive health, population and development.

It promotes South-South cooperation with member states representing over half the world’s population. It is also a permanent observer to the UN.

In Bangladesh, India relations, health sector had never get priority, though thousands of Bangladeshi patients travel to India for treatment. Many Indian students come to Bangladesh to study medical science.

Before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in 2O11, a group of public health experts from both Dhaka and New Delhi wrote a joint letter to the both leaders asking them to put public health collaboration high on the agenda.

Both countries then formed a joint working committee which would discuss health sector collaboration time to time.

But no visible progress has been seen in this sector, so far.

Dr Thomas said both countries “should focus more on health collaboration since you have similar health situation. Disease profile has no boundaries”.

He particularly suggested collaboration in the area of medical education, pharma production, disease surveillance, joint research, and exchange of medical educators, among others.

“Both countries can share their experiences,” he said. (Source:

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