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Zahid Maleque: For us, family is also first

csalad.hu, fotó: Förster Tamás
2019. szept. 6. 8:52
Budapesti Demográfiai Csúcs

„States must take a key role in resolving the demographic situation” – emphasised Zahid Maleque, Honourable Minister of Health and Family Welfare from Bangladesh. The politician, who in 2016 was granted an award by WHO for his work in promoting family health, also thanked Hungarian doctors for their efforts in separating the Bangladeshi twins.

Zahid Maleque recalled the words of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who made the point that we need traditional family values that cannot disappear or be exchanged for something else.

We also hold these values in high regard, as for us family also comes first – stressed the politician. He also added that in this spirit they spent 20% of their national budget on family-related expenditures.

With its population of 160 million, Bangladesh is the 7th most populous country in the world, and the 3rd in Asia. We have huge population growth, which we managed to push back to 1.3%. As a result of our policy, we have managed not only to reduce population growth, but also to significantly improve the mortality of children and expectant mothers. By now, life expectancy has increased to 72 years, which is very high for a developing country. In addition, we have created a favourable environment for investments and boosted the number of jobs – he added, recalling the results achieved.

New challenges

Despite the successes, however, they also face some difficulties. It is extremely hard to invest into education, create the right jobs or boost social security. There are also demographic challenges to overcome.

Thanks to the higher life expectancy, Bangladesh can also expect a larger share of older population that will pose a challenge for the future. Also, as more and more women step out on the labour market, we must also consider appropriate childcare options.

He also mentioned that the traditional family setup had been gradually changing over the past decade. In this context, he emphasised the need for Government measures in easing the efforts involved in childrearing, finding the right work/life balance and establishing appropriate childcare facilities.

It is important to involve all stakeholders in this process, including the private and public sectors, to make sure we can rise up to the challenges of our age – pointed out the Bangladeshi Minister.

(photo: Förster Tamás)