Marking the 3rd annual anniversary of the Universal Health Coverage Day which celebrates the United Nations resolution of December 12, 2012 on this issues, Bangladesh Youth Summit on Universal Health Coverage has been hosted on Monday at Dhaka by SERAC-Bangladesh in partnership with USAID, EngenderHealth, Bandhu, Share Net, and Universal Health Coverage Coalition. Being the first of its kind, this daylong summit brought together above 150 young people to discuss, interact, and engage into the process of ensuring universal healthcare by 2030 following the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, and how youths can take lead through meaningful participation. The summit hosted several panel discussions, skill building workshops, and socialization hours, where experts and advocates on healthcare, and human rights spoke, and engaged with young participants.
Eminent health expert, and Ex Pro Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Professor Dr.Rashid-E-Mahbub, Director of Institute of Health Economics of University of Dhaka Professor Syed Abdul Hamid, and Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh S M Shaikat spoke at the opening panel on health rights and access to primary healthcare, moderated by journalist Aminul Islam Sujon. An expert discussion panel on access to quality medicines focusing maternal and reproductive health was convened with the deputy director of Directorate of Drug Administration Dr. Sagir Ahmed, senior technical advisor of MSH Mohammad Golam Kibria, and executive director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals AA Salim Barami in the panel moderated by Dr. Tareq Salahuddin, Editor of NewsHour.
Besides, EngenderHealth Bangladesh Country Director Dr. Abu Jamil Faisel led an interactive workshop on critical issues of young people’s reproductive health, another two capacity development sessions were organized by Rebecca Sultana, Rafiqul Islam Royal, and Fosiul Ahsan, program director of Bandhu Social Welfare Society. There was another panel organized by Share Net Bangladesh on male participation on reproductive health of women, convened by Anika Binte Habib.Experts stressed that young people should be effectively engaged and informed to reach health targets for the country, and state owned health insurance could be initiated to meet needs of all classes of people. With deliberate participation young people raised health issued they face, and emphasized how to improve quality of healthcare making it more youth friendly, ensuring access to quality medicines, and interventions to include families and educational institutions to make comprehensive sexuality education more accessible for youths, and they raised voices to include health as a fundamental human right in the Bangladesh constitution.