Tuberculosis (TB) is the second deadliest infectious disease after COVID-19. In the cramped Rohingya camps where one million people live in southern Bangladesh, the disease can spread fast. A new initiative is trying to keep up with its speed - by bringing access to TB diagnosis on wheels.
Bangladesh has recently passed the National Mental Healthcare Act 2018, and is about to finalise the breakthrough National Mental Health Strategy. However, resources and investment remain low, with 0.49 mental health caregivers per 100,000 population. In this backdrop, how can mental health be destigmatised and be brought to the doorsteps of everyone?
Childrens’ wellbeing is connected to their learning, and their ability to nurture meaningful relationships in their early years. Children's brains are extremely active in the early years, and the connections they make become the building blocks of their future. A good foundation makes a difference through adulthood.
1.6 million people die every year around the world because of poor hygiene and sanitation. Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in ensuring safe sanitation - open defecation is nearly zero percent. Here are five initiatives that supported improvements to sanitation, in both big and small ways:
Eid-ul-Azha is one of the biggest religious festivals celebrated by millions across the globe. During this time, people living in affluence sacrifice various livestock and distribute the meat among people living in poverty. Cattle farmers and sellers in Bangladesh wait for this time to make their biggest sales of the year. Seasonal cattle markets, which have become an integral part of the celebrations, are set up all over the country. However, this year, maintaining social distancing in such large gatherings during the pandemic was challenging. Here’s what we learned in our efforts to keep people safe:
As Bangladesh weathers the most challenging time of this generation - the COVID-19 pandemic - mental health and wellbeing has become more important than ever. BRAC is committed to enhancing community wellbeing through tackling stigma and increasing access to mental health services through culturally appropriate and compassionate approaches.
The Community Fort for Resisting COVID-19 project is a protracted effort to contain the virus within communities in Bangladesh, by equipping 81 million people across 35 high-risk districts with the tools and knowledge to keep themselves and their families safe. The project is implemented by a coalition of organisations who work at the community level. BRAC sat down with one of the partners, the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh:
Bangladesh is emerging out of its worst wave of the pandemic. Daily infection rates have dropped below 10% for the third day in a row. Schools are set to re-open after the longest closure in the world, and BRAC is supporting the Government of Bangladesh’s push for mass vaccination. Read more from Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC:
The Community Fort for Resisting COVID-19 project is a protracted effort to contain the virus within communities in Bangladesh, by equipping 81 million people across 35 high-risk districts with the tools and knowledge to keep themselves and their families safe. The project is implemented by a coalition of organisations who work at the community level. BRAC sat down with one of the partners, Manusher Jonno Foundation, to get an update on what they are learning:
The Rohingya population had to flee some of the worst forms of persecution when they left Myanmar in 2017. Since then, living in the world’s largest makeshift settlement situated at the edge of Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar has meant facing new forms of challenges - floods, cyclones, landslides and fires - often adding to their losses and layers of trauma.
Shantir apa (sisters of peace) are leading a quiet revolution within the Rohingya camps. To help families strengthen their capacities to cope, they are ensuring an empathetic space to decompress and manage mental distress.
The Delta variant continues to ravage Bangladesh, with July having the most fatalities to COVID-19 to date. BRAC has launched a campaign to support families hit the hardest, and the Community Fort for Resisting COVID-19 project is running at full speed. In addition, we update you on rising cases and flooding in Cox’s Bazar, in both the Rohingya camps and host communities.