Diarrhea caused by contaminated water is the single greatest killer of children in much of the world. In the 1980s, the Bangladesh-based organization to which I belong, BRAC, ran a program that helped reduce children's deaths from diarrhea by 80 percent nationwide. The project was fraught with difficulties and challenges, taking a decade to complete. Looking back years later, I think the experience holds important lessons that apply far beyond public health.
I was psyched to read about David Lee Roth and his famous brown M&Ms in Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto over the weekend. It's a favorite story of mine, as I've often considered it a metaphor for Great and Meaningful Things.
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.
Below is an article published on The Hindu by Aarti Dhar about BRAC's health interventions in Bangladesh “Bangladesh focussed strongly on the disadvantaged section of society, particularly women, in the past three decades that led to employment, availability of micro-credit, education and overall empowerment. These were the building blocks of good health in the country,” according to Timothy G. Evans, Dean of James P. Grant School of Public Health at the BRAC University in Dhaka.