An epidemic might be on the rise. Two of the world’s most lethal infectious diseases are being largely overlooked, but practically harboured within each household of the largest makeshift city in the world.
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.
It is estimated that 624 million people around the world could have their vision restored if they could access eye glasses. This lack of access is costing the global economy a whopping USD 202 billion per year.
Yet like any ambitious set of targets, not all the MDGs were fully met by many countries. Rather the goals worked as a framework upon which they could build their development policies and translate the policies into action. Let’s focus on one tiny target of a goal, yet one whose impact on the coming generations is most persisting: undernutrition. Undernutrition, a form of malnutrition, is a deficiency of calories of one or more essential nutrients. Two of the most used indicators to measure undernutrition are underweight and stunting.
Heart disease is often regarded as a problem that a person is born with, or something that eventually happens in older adults. Non-modifiable risk factors like advancing age and family history are not the only reasons for heart disease. In fact, 80 per cent of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease could be avoided if modifiable risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and raised lipids are addressed.
Friends and supporters have reached out to BRAC with concern and support. In Sierra Leone and Liberia, we have 907 full-time staff, and about as many self-employed community health promoters. Our staff is safe, though sadly, some of our microfinance clients are among the more than 1,000 who have died.
Fears are rising in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea that the deadly Ebola virus is spreading out of control. I spoke to Tapan Karmakar, country representative of BRAC Sierra Leone. “People are now afraid,” he told me. Additional funding is needed for community health workers to reach remote areas.
100,000 in 1990 to just 194 in 2010, while other indicators like neonatal and under-five mortality have also fallen.
While those numbers are still too high (in many developed countries, the rates for all are in single digits), the change is still staggering. Bangladesh is close to reaching the fourth and fifth of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals regarding child and maternal mortality.
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post on 26 January 2013.
The world has made impressive progress in health over the past few decades, leading to untold lives being saved. This has been possible due to deliberate efforts in providing prevention and healthcare, and improving the various social determinants of health. Yet, nearly ten million children die before reaching their ﬁfth birthday and half a million women die each year in child birth.
Watch Message from Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, BRAC Founder & Chairperson on World Pneumonia Day 2011Globally, in every 20 second a child dies from pneumonia. This loss of life is even more tragic because nearly all of these deaths are preventable, and more than 98% of childhood pneumonia deaths occur in developing countries. Safe and effective vaccines, inexpensive treatments and preventive measures exist that can save lives.
On the occasion of the launch of its book Making Tuberculosis History: Community-Based Solutions for Millions, Bangladesh-based BRAC is sharing stories about those taking part in its successful approach to combating TB. The following is the third in a series; previously we featured the stories of Shanta and Shahida.