Tuberculosis remains the world's deadliest infectious disease. The United Nations General Assembly held its first ever high-level meeting on ending TB. BRAC's Sir Fazle Hasan Abed spoke on Bangladesh's journey so far in combating the disease.
The connection between Zakia and Firoza becomes instantly evident when you see them talk to each other. Firoza listens intently as Zakia speaks in a soft, empathetic tone. For Firoza, Zakia is not only a manager apa (sister) from BRAC - she is the only person who she trusts completely.
On International Youth Day this year, we focus on the need for safe spaces for young people. Safe spaces can be civic, public, digital or physical spaces where young people can participate in key decisions and express themselves with dignity and safety.
Globally, only 38% of mothers breastfeed exclusively, giving their babies nothing but breastmilk for the first six months. The figure is higher in Bangladesh, at 55%. But it is still not high enough. Exclusive breastfeeding is crucial for a baby’s healthy development. Aside from cultural traditions, and lack of knowledge, the need to work is also an influencing factor.
Living in Dhaka is a challenge, no matter who you are. Traffic is manic, there are motorcyclists cruising the footpaths and people are forced to walk on the streets. There are no designated bus lanes and no bus stops. The roads are home to everything and everyone. Buses, cars, rickshaws, CNGs and people coexist in a situation where anything can happen at any time.
When BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGOs, tried to digitize its paper-based record system to improve decision making and provide continuous improvement for its skills development programme in Bangladesh, it hit a wall.
In 2016, TB claimed the lives of 1.3 million people across the world. Four million cases of TB have been undocumented or not reported. One of the bizarre features of TB is that it remains inactive, producing no symptoms, for long periods of time.