[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Among the many challenges faced by the people of Bangladesh, the effects of climate change are discernibly threatening, impacting on human settlement, agricultural production, economic development, and human health. Bangladesh is a low-income country with limited resources; its vulnerability to climate change has influenced individuals to seek out health coping strategies. The objectives of the study were to explore the different strategies/measures people employ to cope with climate sensitive diseases and sickness. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 450 households from Rajshahi and Khulna districts of Bangladesh selected through multi-stage sampling techniques, using a semi-structured questionnaire supplemented by 12 focus group discussions and 15 key informant interviews. RESULTS: Respondents applied 22 types of primary health coping strategies to prevent climate related diseases and sickness. To cope with health problems, 80.8% used personal treatment experiences and 99.3% sought any treatments available at village level. The percentage of respondents that visited unqualified health providers to cope with climate induced health problems was quite high, namely 92.7% visited village doctors, 75.9% drug stores, and 67.3% self-medicated. Ninety per cent of the respondents took treatment from unqualified providers as their first choice. Public health facilities were the first choice of treatment for only 11.0% of respondents. On average, every household spent Bangladesh Currency Taka 9,323 per year for the treatment of climate sensitive diseases and sickness. Only 46% of health expenditure was managed from their savings. The rest, 54% expenditure, was supported by using 24 different sources, such as social capital and the selling of family assets. The rate of out-of-pocket payment was almost 100%. CONCLUSION: People are concerned about climate variability induced diseases and sickness and sought preventive as well as curative measures to cope with health problems. The most common and widely used climate health coping strategies among the respondents included self-medicating and seeking the health service of unqualified private health care providers. Per family spending to cope with such health problems is expensive and completely based on out of pocket payment. There is no fund pooling, community funding or health insurance program in rural areas to support the health coping of the people. Policies are needed to reduce out-of-pocket payment, to improve the quality of the unqualified providers and to extend public health services at rural areas and support climate related health coping. Collection of such knowledge on climate related health coping strategies can allow researchers to study any specific issue on health coping, and policy makers to initiate effective climate related health coping strategies for climate vulnerable people.
BMC Public Health 06/2013; 13(1):565. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bangladesh has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world concerning the adverse effects of climate change (CC). However, little is known about the perception of CC from the community, which is important for developing adaptation strategies.
The study was a cross-sectional survey of respondents from two villages--one from the northern part and the other from the southern part of Bangladesh. A total of 450 households were selected randomly through multistage sampling completed a semi-structure questionnaire. This was supplemented with 12 focus group discussions (FGDs) and 15 key informant interviews (KIIs).
Over 95 percent of the respondents reported that the heat during the summers had increased and 80.2 percent reported that rainfall had decreased, compared to their previous experiences. Approximately 65 percent reported that winters were warmer than in previous years but they still experienced very erratic and severe cold during the winter for about 5-7 days, which restricted their activities with very destructive effect on agricultural production, everyday life and the health of people. FGDs and KIIs also reported that overall winters were warmer. Eighty point two percent, 72.5 percent and 54.7 percent survey respondents perceived that the frequency of water, heat and cold related diseases/health problems, respectively, had increased compared to five to ten years ago. FGDs and KIIs respondents were also reported the same.
Respondents had clear perceptions about changes in heat, cold and rainfall that had occurred over the last five to ten years. Local perceptions of climate variability (CV) included increased heat, overall warmer winters, reduced rainfall and fewer floods. The effects of CV were mostly negative in terms of means of living, human health, agriculture and overall livelihoods. Most local perceptions on CV are consistent with the evidence regarding the vulnerability of Bangladesh to CC. Such findings can be used to formulate appropriate sector programs and interventions. The systematic collection of such information will allow scientists, researchers and policy makers to design and implement appropriate adaptation strategies for CC in countries that are especially vulnerable.
Environmental Health 01/2012; 11:1. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic malnutrition is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality among preschool children and the future productivity of nations. To understand the prevalence of chronic malnutrition and to identify the factors affecting height-for-age z-score (HAZ) among preschool children, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 380 randomly-selected children aged less than five years in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Results of analysis of this study data revealed that the prevalence of stunting among preschool children in Dhaka city was 39.5%, with 25% severely stunted and 14% moderately stunted (p<0.001). Results of bivariate analysis revealed that socioeconomic and demographic factors were most significantly associated with the stunting of children. Children were found to be well-nourished if their parents had a tertiary-level education or higher and if the mother held a job and had good knowledge of nutrition. Well-nourishment of the children were also associated with the height of mothers (above 148 cm), good family educational background, normal birthweight, greater frequency of food intake (more than six times/day), and fewer fever episodes in the last six months. Results of multivariate linear regression models showed that height of mothers, birthweight of children, education of fathers, knowledge of mothers on nutrition, and frequency of feeding were the most significant factors that had an independent and direct influence on the stunting of children. To achieve the Millennium Development Goal target of 34% malnutrition prevalence by 2015, it is important to have specific government intervention to focus on the causes that directly influence the stunting of children.
Journal of Health Population and Nutrition 10/2011; 29(5):494-9. · 1.12 Impact Factor