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