Protecting Public Health Through Urban Planning

It is possible to play an important role in protecting human health through urban planning. The city plan includes workways for walking, providing safety and priority to pedestrians, lanes for bicycles, parks, open spaces, and ensuring free movement of all. Physical activity can be enhanced by making exercise compulsory in educational activities, ensuring teachers and materials for the exercise. It is important to encourage the villagers to produce food at home. Roof agriculture can play an important role in meeting the demand for vegetables in the city; meanwhile, special importance should be given. It will be possible to deliver vegetables to the citizens at low prices if measures are taken to take vegetables easily by rail and shipping. If all ministries will work together to control non-communicable diseases, Non communicable diseases will be controlled easily. If all these diseases are not prevented, the overall progress of the country will be hampered. Organizations outside the health sector need to take responsibility for controlling non-communicable diseases. To this end, it is important to implement the existing laws and policies and take necessary amendments.

March 21, 2022 at 11 a.m., Ibrahim Auditorium of Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Center for Law and Policy Affairs-CLPA, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and Citizen Network jointly organized a Divisional workshop on “Role of Law in promoting healthy diet and physical activity”. Forty-seven (47) participants (39 M, 8 F) attended the event.

Prof. Dr. Anwar Hossain, Dean, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences presided over the meeting and the keynote address was delivered by Prof. AFM Sarwar, Research Consultant, CLPA and Syed Mahbubul Alam, Secretary, CLPA. Prof. Faridul Alam, Vice Chancellor, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences was present as the Chief Guest on the workshop.

Syed Mahbubul Alam said in his keynote that according to a study on existing non-communicable disease control laws, there are about 18 laws in the country to ensure gymnasiums and open spaces. In addition, more than 30 laws of 11 ministries are involved in controlling unhealthy food and ensuring healthy fresh food. However, the health aspects are not important in the implementation of these laws. It is possible for other ministries to control non-communicable diseases. He further said that it is important for the local government to formulate separate policies for creating an environment for manual labor at the local level and for the creation of an environment for physical labor and exercise in the local government law, specific provisions need to be added. The speakers said that Bangladesh has entered the list of top 10 countries in the world in the production of seasonal fruits. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. It is important to encourage the villagers to produce food at home. Policy makers need to take necessary steps towards urban agriculture. Roof agriculture can play an important role in meeting the demand of vegetables in the city, meanwhile special importance should be given.

Speakers said that every year budget is allocated for sports, conservation of ponds and creation  of opportunities for teaching swimming, allocation of free space for teaching martial arts, suitable footpath for visually impaired people for walking, Provide bicycle lanes, besides on the banks of rivers and lakes, parks, open spaces need to create for recreation, encouraging tax exemption for planting vegetables and medicinal plants on city roofs, establishment of Health Promotion Foundation with the help of Health Development Surcharge for enactment of a comprehensive law on public health and health development. And recommended to budget allocation and formulate a national guideline for establishment of infrastructure for physical activity.


Spoke more at the meeting  Dr. Mostafa Zaman, Research Advisor, World Health Organization, Dr. AKM Shamim Alam, Project Director, Union Level Farmer Service Center Establishment and Technology Expansion Project, Department of Agricultural Extension, Prof. Md. Tajul Islam, Country Project Manager, Health Project Office, JICA Dr. Md. Shafiur Rahman, Program Coordinator, Nipsam, Farida Akhtar, Executive Director, Ubinig, Dr. Mahmud Hossain Farooqui, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, BUHS, Professor. Sheikh Akhtar Ahmed, Treasurer, BUHS, Nazrul Islam Rumi, Former Chief Coach, BKSP, Aminul Islam Bakul Convener Citizen Connection, Helal Ahmed, Secretary Pratasha, Masum Billah, Executive Director, Siam etc.