We live in a world where mental health conditions are severely misunderstood. 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem every year, yet a culture of silence and stigma run deep, making it difficult for people to seek support.
In 2010, Bangladesh achieved something remarkable; much to the confusion of many, the number of women dying during labor dropped dramatically from 650 in 100,000 live births in the 70s to only 194 — a 70% reduction. This is a dramatic decline that was termed by observers as “one of the great mysteries of global health.”
Hunger is devastating. Tonight, close to one billion people around the world will go to bed hungry. Tomorrow they’ll do the same. And the same the day after. Their children are also likely to be caught in this damaging cycle.
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.
Maya Apa, a digital wellbeing assistant, is re-inventing the way people from all walks of life access specialist advice on health, lifestyle and legal matters. It combines AI and real doctors to connect users to experts.
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.
Bangladesh is largely an agricultural-based economy. According to the World Bank, almost half of all workers are directly employed by agriculture. The sector is credited with greatly reducing the country’s poverty rate due to rapid growth.
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.
Making motherhood safe in Bangladesh is an achievable goal, but we have a long way to go before safe motherhood is a reality for all. The most fatal complications are easily preventable, and with quality care and facilities, we are striving to get there.