Tag Archives: public health

The Bangladesh Paradox: exceptional health and sanitation advances despite poverty

Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury from BRAC on the Bangladesh public health miracle, aid or trade, arsenic, floating latrines and the post-2015 development agenda.

Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury from BRAC presents the "Bangladesh Paradox", International Water House, The Hague, Yje Netherlaands, 30 July 2014

Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury from BRAC presents the “Bangladesh Paradox”, International Water House, The Hague, The Netherlands, 30 July 2014

By Cor Dietvorst and Vera van der Grift, IRC
Originally posted on the IRC web site, 01 August 2014

Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in the fields of health and sanitation. With a population of 149 million, it now has the highest life expectancy; the lowest fertility rate and the lowest mortality rate of children under five in South Asia (excepting Sri Lanka), although it spends less on health care than most neighbouring countries. Only 10% of the population in Bangladesh practices Open Defecation (OD) compared to 50% in India.

It is one of only six countries that are on track to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

Emerging from the war of liberation in 1971, Bangladesh embraced a new more liberal identity, which manifested itself in a change in societal attitudes towards women, and girls’ education in particular.

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Access to safe water and sanitation among top global public health achievements

Access to safe water and sanitation are among the ten top global public health achievements in the first decade of 21st century identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC asked experts in global public health to nominate noteworthy public health achievements that occurred outside of the United States during 2001–2010. CDC selected ten of these achievements and published an overview in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of 24 June 2011.

Between 2000 and 2008, CDC reports that an additional 800 million people gained access to improved drinking water sources, and additional 570 million people gained access to improved sanitation. In addition, education and safe water technology have eradicated Guinea worm in all but four countries (Southern Sudan, Mali, Ethiopia, and Ghana), with complete eradication expected in 2012.

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