About 43 percent of workers in the country's lucrative ready-made garments (RMG) industry are suffering from malnutrition, according to Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a Swiss-based International Organization.
About 7.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Bangladesh is lost annually due to anemia among the workers, said Moniruzzaman Bipul, portfolio lead of GAIN While presenting the keynote paper at a meeting.
He came up with the remarks while addressing a regional sensitization meeting organised by Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment (DIFE) and GAIN at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital on Monday.
Citing a report of World Health Organization (WHO), 2003, he said adequate nourishment can raise national productivity by 20%. Ensuring the access to nutritious and safe food for the workers can ensure utilization of full potential or productivity of workers.
Although nutrition interventions have a significant impact on productivity, the issue is always often side-lined, he said, calling for improvement of nutrition knowledge of workers and increase availability and accessibility to nutritious and safe food of workers.
Around 35 to 42 lakh workers in the country’s RMG sector and proper nutrition intake will generate a sustainable business growth, he insisted.
KM Abdus Salam, secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment also attended the programme as the chief guest.
Chaired by Shib Nath Roy, inspector general of DIFE, Dr Rudaba Khondker, country director of GAIN Bangladesh; Dr Md Mustafizur Rahman, joint inspector general of DIFE, Dr Muttaquina Hossain, associate scientist of icddr,b; Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, director of BKMEA, Hanifur Rahman Lotus, chair-health standing committee of BGMEA were also present there among others.