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June 16, 2018

Eid wishes from our little learners in Cox’s Bazar

Eid Mubarak, from our family to yours.

These following four stories and drawings belong to the little learners in the Hazem Rasta child-friendly space mainly attended by children living in the host community of Ukhia. The space normally sees around 40 to 50 children every day, usually before or after their school hours. Most of them live close by.

 

Fatema (learner, BRAC Child Friendly Space, Ukhia)

I visit my family, especially my grandparents, on Eid day. I am excited to go to my sister’s house. She has two boys. I love Eid because I get to play with them.

June 14, 2018

Leaving no one behind: Disability-inclusive disaster risk management

More than 700 participants from 32 countries gathered in Dhaka this May to attend the 2nd International Conference on Disability and Disaster Risk Management. The global platform brings together persons with disabilities, policy makers, activists, experts, and various other stakeholders to find practical ways and means to ensure disability inclusion in all disaster risk management efforts.

We live in a world that is seeing an increasing number of disasters, both natural and human-made. In the last decade, disasters have cost the global economy USD 520 billion and pushed 26 million people into poverty. Certain groups, such as people with disabilities, …

June 12, 2018

Weapons of mass pathogen destruction: Health workers combat TB and malaria

After nine months since the crisis rapidly unfolded, more people are coming out with the symptoms of cough and uncontrolled fever. Well-coordinated teams of health workers are working round the clock to ensure that these numbers do not rise any further.

Shahina Akhter visits at least 40 homes a day, working tirelessly under the intense humidity of tarpaulin roofs and bamboo walls. She is one of the foot soldiers for communicable disease control within the camps. Shahina works tirelessly, looking out for symptoms of TB and Malaria; asking every member of the household, and documenting their information in a register

June 6, 2018

9 ways we are keeping people in Cox’s Bazar safe in monsoon

Thousands of families living in cramped makeshift settlements on 3,000 acres of land are severely at risk. An estimated 200,000 people are in the process of being relocated. Flash floods and landslides are forecast, and there is a high risk of cyclones. The rains have already begun, blowing away tarpaulin roofs and leaving large pools of stagnant water around the camps.

What are the risks?

Deaths from exposure to extreme weather could cause a public health crisis. Hills could collapse as forests have been uprooted. Roads could become inaccessible, complicating the way in which services, rations and clean water are

May 31, 2018

1 million children sign to make dreams come true

More than a million of BRAC’s students and young learners from nearly 17,000 schools and over 7,000 centres across Bangladesh have signed a call for an education funding plan. This initiative is a contribution to ensure that quality education becomes a reality for every child. The petition was delivered to the UN Secretary-General by youth campaigners of TheirWorld in early May, demanding that world leaders to give more children a quality education.

A global demand to make impossible, possible.

Over 260 million children and youth are currently out of school, with millions dropping out before they even reach secondary school.

May 29, 2018
BLOG WASH

That time of month: Why is menstruation still a problem?

According to national statistics, a girl will miss three days of school each month. Many have said to have poor performance at school because of menstrual problems. Most girls use unhygienic old clothes or rags, since affordable menstrual wear is not easily accessible to them.

The stigma surrounding discussions on menstruation can have a severe impact on women’s educational development, health and overall economic status. Girls are often told to stay at home, and are forbidden to participate in any outdoor work or social activity during their period.

Inadequate facilities and information on menstrual hygiene management at schools further adds

May 28, 2018
BLOG Health

What does it take to make motherhood safe?

It has been three hours, but the baby is stuck. The women push and pull, but they do not know what is wrong. It is an obstetric complication called shoulder dystocia; whereby the baby’s shoulder gets stuck after the head has passed through the birth canal.

Occurring in 0.3-1% of births, it is both rare and possibly fatal.

The women, relatives of the mother, Roksana, persevere.  They are not trained midwives or obstetric nurses, and have no idea how to manage the situation. The thought of taking the mother to a hospital or health facility does not occur to them.

May 27, 2018

Managing sites in the world’s biggest makeshift city

Preparing for the upcoming monsoon
The rains have already started in Cox’s Bazaar – one of the most flood-prone regions in Bangladesh, and emergency preparedness and response is at the top of the agenda. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department predicts that the pre-monsoon rainfall in May will be above normal, with a risk of ‘’heavy pre-monsoon convective rainfall’’. Waterlogging is already an issue, with stagnant water posing the threat of a major outbreak of waterborne diseases.

Emergency measures are underway but a grim reality remains – of hilly locations, the weak mechanics of the soil from deforestation, and the slippery slopes

May 23, 2018
BLOG Health

Meet the Heroines of Health from Bangladesh inspiring the next generation of global health workers

Sabina is the first female dean of the BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, appointed in 2013, and Malabika is the first female director of research. Their partnership and collaboration is key to their leadership and is inspiring the next generation of global health workers. Their research has offered the world invaluable learning on topics such as community health workers, sexual and reproductive health, non-communicable disease, urban health, health systems, HIV – and beyond.

Tell us more about the work that you do with your organisations.

Sabina: I head the BRAC School of Public Health in Bangladesh. We …

May 20, 2018

Going Google: Betting big on artificial intelligence for development

Google I/O 2018 was exciting, fun, full of new innovations and most of all, about the tremendous potential that artificial intelligence brings to augment human capabilities. Google is betting big on AI and one clear manifestation of that intent was the rebranding of Google Research division to simply, Google AI. As a company which has always been the  trendsetter in the global technology landscape, bar a few exceptions (Google Plus, anyone?), Google has reiterated its commitment to go big with AI in their annual gathering of developers and partners.

Starting from the very beginning of CEO Sundar Pichai’s

May 14, 2018
BLOG Health

Taking nutrition to over 2000 young women and mothers

Three days. 14 sub-districts visited. Over 2,000 women reached by BRAC.

“Nutrition must be considered if we think of food”- this was the theme of Bangladesh’s National Nutrition Week, aimed at improving maternal and child health.

Bangladesh has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal and child malnutrition. An estimated six million children are chronically undernourished. Many pregnant women are underweight, anaemic, and consume a nutrient-poor diet.

The solution: Starting with adolescent girls.

Malnourished adolescent girls are much more likely to be malnourished during pregnancy. In turn, they will give birth to underweight babies, who will likely remain malnourished …

May 13, 2018

Crossing the border through a 10-year-old’s eyes

My family and I walked for 20 days to get from Myanmar to Bangladesh. We arrived in late August 2017. I am now living in the camps with my mother and five siblings.

10-year-old Harisa Bibi in a child-friendly space in Cox’s Bazar.

My home back in Myanmar was near the main road. The military burnt it down with launchers in the middle of the night. My youngest brother, barely two years old, was killed in the fire.

They fired shots randomly at everyone in the village. We had to flee immediately, and we couldn’t recover my brother’s body. A