Tareq Salahuddin

Tareq Salahuddin - 2016 Nominee
Position: Editor & Special Correspondent
Organization: News Hour
He is a prominent journalist of Bangladesh and a front row advocate in the media. He was honored by Women Deliver for consistent & game-changing coverage of maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues at the global and national levels. – Mahmood Kazi Mohammed, Senior Medical Officer at BRAC
Tareq is a leading health reporter of Bangladesh. He focuses on maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. His works help policymakers and readers to take right decisions related to family planning. – Ashoke Roy, Biostatistician at Toronto East General Hospital
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I work as a journalist in The Daily Star and News Hour through which I try to draw the attention to the policy makers in the third world countries like Bangladesh. I also would like to inform the real problems from the ground to the donor communities so that they do understand what they exactly need to do. I want the development process should be bottom up, not top down.
I also have been writing articles for more than a decade on health awareness so that people can concentrate more to prevention of diseases or epidemics. My focus area are maternal and child health; HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria; neglected tropical diseases; contemporary health problems; public health policy and financing.
I believe through combined efforts from everyone's position, a true change is possible for sure.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I live in one of the most crowded countries in the world. Population control is a big problem here. Rather than contributing to the economy of the country, it hinders development and contribute to poverty. Being pregnant is like a death sentence for many mothers in Bangladesh; some are dying as a consequence of unplanned pregnancy; children are going to grave earlier due to neonatal sepsis; under-five child mortality is higher in Bangladesh; family planning is less-practised due to many reasons.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

Religious beliefs play a very big role in family planning in countries like Bangladesh. Also there are constrains in family planning laws - commodities for family planning are not available everywhere where they were supposed to be. Investment in family planning is less from the policy perspective.
I chose writing in the media to avoid those barriers. I know it always take long time to overcome the barriers completely, but I never gave up. I have been writing more than a decade on these issues.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

Investment more in family planning with proper utilization. The policy level understanding to need to do the needful is the biggest challenge I guess. Prioritizing the problems to address is also an important area for a poor country like Bangladesh.
I think the media can guide the policy makers in this regard. They can highlight the problems needed to be solved on priority basis; underscore the need of funding to the government and donor level; bring the focus of international forum.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I would like to utilize the power of media to highlight the problems in family planning in Bangladesh needed to be solved on priority basis so that the policy makers can pay attention; write about the need of funding for the government and donor level; bring the focus of international forum so that they underscore on some real issues.

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