An Affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) Recipient of Noble Peace Prize, 1985

IPPNW South Asian Regional Meet
26-27 September 2016 DHAKA (Bangladesh)


On the theme “Emerging health & social crisis of South Asia”, Physicians for Social Responsibility Bangladesh (PSR,B) organized the 'IPPNW South Asian Regional Meet 2016' on September 26-27, 2016 at Dhaka. This event was participated by delegates from India, Nepal, Srilanka & Pakistan in addition to Bangladeshi doctors and medical students. The event started with a “Peace Ralley” with colorful rickshaws which marched from BSSMU to Shaheed Minar. On the occasion the affiliates passed a resolution named as Dhaka Declaration.



DHAKA DECLARATION
We the affiliates of IPPNW from south Asia, the Physicians for Social Responsibility Bangladesh (PSRB), Physicians for Social Responsibility Nepal (PSRN), Sri Lankan Doctors for Peace and Development (SDPD), Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD) and Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) are extremely concerned about the poor health of people of the region. We have failed to fulfill commitments to the Alma Ata Declaration and also have not been able to meet the Millennium Development Goals on health. Low public health expenditure by the governments in the south Asian region, which is less than one third of Total Health Expenditure, continues to be an area of great concern for the affiliates of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Out-of-Pocket health expenditure is the major health financing mechanism across the south Asian region, posing an enormous burden on underprivileged households forcing them to slip in deeper poverty. The entry of corporate sector in providing medical education and health care delivery has made the medical education and treatment expensive and unaffordable to vast majority of the population. As the region is one of the poorest in the world we need to have collective efforts to build and strengthen our economies with policies oriented towards inclusive growth and an equitable health delivery system. Whereas the public health expenditure in South Asia region hovers around 1% of GDP, the region is spending more than 16% of Central Government Expenditure on its military.
Ongoing tension across the borders and within the countries of the region on account of several reasons has added to worsening of our economies and creating insecurity in the region. South Asia region is leading towards becoming a hot spot for conflicts. Almost all countries of the region have been affected by the terrorist violence. Several groups propagating religious and other forms of intolerance have become active in the region. This is against the region's age old ethos of love, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence.
With the rising tensions there is a serious threat of escalation of conflicts in to larger wars. Such a situation poses grave threat of use of nuclear weapons by the states or by the non-state actors. This could create havoc not only for the region but for the whole world as various studies have shown that even a limited use of nuclear weaponsbetween India and Pakistan could kill 12 million people on both sides and put nearly 2 billion people at risk of starvation and death around the world as a result of climatic effects.
We are equally concerned of the ongoing conflicts in other parts of the world. Terrorism seems to have become and international industry serving the interest of military industrial complex. It is not a hidden thing that the weapons in the hands of terrorists are coming from a few developed countries. It is also a cause of concern that it is these countries whoare time and again delaying and blocking agreements to abolish nuclear weapons and to check the proliferation of small arms.



Dr Arun Mitra