Health and Healthcare in Bangladesh

By | March 21, 2021

Sports activities in one of the public parks

Sports activities in one of the public parks

Working without protective clothing on one of the new Flyover

Working without protective clothing on one of the new Flyover

Bangladesh is a country located in southern Asia according to mysteryaround. Many people in Bangladesh are permanently exposed to high health risks. These can come from air pollution from exhaust gases from road traffic, industry or waste incineration, or from regional arsenic contamination of the groundwater or inadequate occupational safety measures. The climate-related high number of different mosquitoes, which can be disease carriers, or different weather extremes also have a detrimental effect on the health of the residents. The governments of Bangladesh have taken various measures against the individual causes of the diseases. For example, insecticides are used in large cities sprayed to reduce the number of mosquitos. Governments have also addressed the problem of arsenic contaminated groundwater and drinking water in some areas. In 1993 it was first established that the arsenic content of the water extracted from recently constructed wells exceeded the range that most people could tolerate. These wells were originally built to avoid the withdrawal of drinking water from surface waters, as this is often heavily contaminated with heavy metals, bacterial pathogens or the like. Arsenic is a natural component of many soils in Bangladesh and neighboring regions, which apparently had not previously been known or adequately tested. Arsenic poisoning-related cancers in residents who used well water or ate rice which had absorbed arsenic were the result. Meanwhile, state and private institutions, non-governmental organizations and other actors with different measures started. This includes the installation of special filter systems in the wells, the possibility of collecting rainwater or expanding the wells into deeper layers of the earth. However, the risk remains. In general, educating residents is a first step in combating health risks. Corresponding campaigns have been and are being carried out by the government and the media in many areas. Examples are education about AIDS or diabetes as well as intoxicants and the possible consequences of their consumption. For several years now, both infant mortality and mortality among children under five years of age have been falling in Bangladesh. Statutory health insurance does not exist. Instead, the basic service is generally considered to be free of charge, i.e. financed by the state. There is often a lack of medication or necessary treatment methods in medical care centers. A necessary adaptation to life in the delta was made in Bangladesh by creating treatment options by boat. Traditionally they are experts in certain naturopathic treatments always on the move by boat – both in the past and today. In the meantime, conventional medical treatments including surgical interventions can take place on specially equipped boats. Sometimes people who are financially able travel to Singapore, India or Australia in order to receive better medical treatment there. For the vast majority of the Bangladeshi population, that is not possible. There are some possible solutions. The current government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set the goal of universal health coverage by 2032 and a test program for health insurance for the poor has been started.

Moving through the dense city traffic can also pose different health risks

Moving through the dense city traffic can also pose different health risks

Stay healthy

The Center for Travel Medicine offers clear, up-to-date health information. An unusually high number of new cases of dengue fever has been reported since the end of July 2019. This particularly affected the capital region. On July 23, 2019 alone, over 400 new cases were reported within 24 hours. Even in the days before, the number of new cases reported was sometimes over 300 per day. At the end of 2018, a comparably high number of new cases of dengue fever (transliterated: ḍeṅgu (jbar)) was identified. This wave of dengue fever seems to have subsided, although some new cases are still reported in October 2019. Along with chikungunya and malaria, dengue fever is one of the mosquito-borne diseases. Since there is no vaccine against one of these diseases, a visit to endangered areas should be carefully considered, for example Kushtia (transliterated: Kuṣṭiẏā) was particularly badly affected by the dengue fever wave at the end of 2018 and currently it is the capital Dhaka. In addition, sufficient effective mosquito repellent should be used. This can be insect sprays, insect nets, electronic mosquito pellets or incense cones. Some cities can afford large-scale use of insecticides, such as the capital Dhaka. This type of precaution is now seen as inefficient discussed particularly in view of the current new cases. Before visiting Bangladesh for the first time, read the country’s vaccination regulations and obtain recommended vaccinations if necessary. It is advisable to take a first-aid kit with you, as the hygienic conditions in Bangladesh generally do not create the bacterial environment in which Europeans tend to be. For these reasons, an initial diarrheal illness seems inevitable. To avoid or reduce this, tap water or untreated water, uncooked food or unpeeled, raw products should be avoided.

Information boards during the dengue fever wave 2019 in the capital Dhaka

Information boards during the dengue fever wave 2019 in the capital Dhaka