25 August marks one of the beginning of mass exodus of the Rohingyas into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. In the past year concerted efforts by the Bangladesh Government, WHO and health partners have helped save thousands of lives, and prevented and rapidly curtailed deadly disease outbreaks among the nearly one million Rohingya refugees. Despite these efforts, the Rohingyas remain vulnerable with their evolving health needs, and severe funding crunch threatening continuity of life saving health services in their camps. WHO continues to work with Bangladesh and partners support the health needs of this vulnerable population and remain vigilant against the spread of diseases.
Dhaka, 14 August 2018: The Honorable Minister for Health and Family Welfare announced today, at a press briefing at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dhaka, the release of the findings of the GATS Bangladesh 2017. The survey is accomplished till now in 29 countries of the world where information is collected on tobacco use among people aged 15 years and above. The survey follows a standard protocol and supports the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to generate comparable data across countries. Bangladesh is the tenth country to complete the second round of GATS.
Tobacco, being a leading risk factor for many noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and lung disease, is a major threat to public health. One of the most cost-effective ways to curb the demand for tobacco is to increase the price of tobacco products through effective taxation measures. WHO and partners are recommending changes to tobacco tax structure in Bangladesh in order to align the tobacco tax system with international best practice and evidence.