Malabika Sarker

Malabika Sarker
BRAC University | BU · BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH)

MBBS MPH PhD

About

183
Publications
65,753
Reads
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2,840
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Introduction
Dr. Sarker is a physician with a Master's in Public Health from Harvard University, USA and Doctorate from Heidelberg University, Germany. She was a Research Faculty at Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University. She is the Professor at BRAC JPGSPH and lead the Center of Excellence for Implementation Science and Scale-Up co-funded by UNICEF. As a mixed method specialist Prof Sarker engages in evaluation and implementation research.
Additional affiliations
July 2011 - present
BRAC University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 2001 - June 2011
Universität Heidelberg
Position
  • Professornior

Publications

Publications (183)
Article
Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for 67% of total deaths in Bangladesh. However, the Bangladeshi health system is inadequately prepared to tackle NCDs. Evidence on NCD-specific health-seeking behavior can help appropriately address the needs of people affected by NCDs in Bangladesh. Our study aims to explore health-seeking behavior for peop...
Article
Full-text available
In low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) it is vital to understand acceptable, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate ways of communicating about mental distress. Diagnostic terminology is rarely used, may be stigmatizing, and is subject to misinterpretation. Local terms, such as idioms of distress, can improve mental health literacy and servi...
Poster
Full-text available
Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Child marriage and family planning (FP) among adolescents require urgent attention. About 16% of married women aged 15-19 years in Bangladesh have an unmet need for FP. The James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) supports UNICEF by providing scientific research for a cro...
Article
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Introduction The delay in seeking emergency obstetric care leads to significant maternal morbidity and mortality and can worsen during pandemics, especially in humanitarian conflict settings with low uptake of obstetric services. To mitigate the challenges related to the second delay caused by lack of transport in the COVID-19 pandemic, the organis...
Article
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The case detection rate of childhood tuberculosis in Bangladesh is 4%, far below the World Health Organization predicted rate of 10–15% for a country with a high burden of tuberculosis. A concurrent triangulation mixed-methods study was carried out in eight urban DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course) centres to investigate the factors co...
Article
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Background Palliative care has been recognised as a global health challenge. Although accessibility has increased, there is little recognition of the importance of palliative care in low- and middle-income countries. In Bangladesh, institutional palliative care is not accessible due to a lack of awareness, financial constraints, and fewer facilitie...
Article
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Objectives To assess the knowledge and practices related to COVID-19 among Bangladeshi mothers with children aged 2 years or less and adult males. Design We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess the knowledge and practices using a multistage cluster sampling technique. Settings Six districts with high COVID-19 infection rates in Bangladesh....
Article
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Background Since climate change, pandemics and population mobility are challenging healthcare systems, an empirical and integrative research to studying and help improving the health systems resilience is needed. We present an interdisciplinary and mixed-methods research protocol, ClimHB, focusing on vulnerable localities in Bangladesh and Haiti, t...
Article
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Since 2008, Bangladesh has had a school-based deworming programme to combat soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection among school-aged children (SACs). Existing programmes have trouble reaching SACs, especially those out-of-school (OSCs). This study evaluated deworming coverage among school going children (SGCs) and OSCs in two Nilphamari sub-dist...
Article
Individual informed consent is a central requirement for clinical research on human subjects, yet whether and how consent requirements should apply to health policy experiments (HPEs) remains unclear. HPEs test and evaluate public health policies prior to implementation. We interviewed 58 health experts in Tanzania, Bangladesh and Germany on inform...
Article
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Child marriage is a globally recognised human rights violation that disproportionately affects girls, especially in developing countries. It has serious negative consequences on girls' physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health and rights. Although well-pronounced laws against child marriage were enacted in Bangladesh, the practice remains a...
Article
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Knowledge Translation (KT) is a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesizing, disseminating, exchanging, and ethically sound application of knowledge to improve health and strengthen the health care system. It facilitates sharing the information generated through research outcomes with the public, the policymakers, or others for further...
Article
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Objective The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging worldwide. While there is significant published evidence on the attributes of patients with COVID-19 from lower-income and middle-income countries, there is a dearth of original research published from Bangladesh, a low-income country in Southeast Asia. Based on a case series from a tertiary healthcar...
Article
In this study, we present findings from an experimental evaluation of a mandatory employer-sponsored health insurance scheme in Bangladesh. We randomly introduced the scheme to female artisans to understand the impacts on healthcare utilisation, expenditure and subjective well-being using both survey and administrative data. Our findings suggest th...
Research
This original article explores isolation experiences of former covid19 patients residing in different parts of Bangladesh. The study took place from May to August 2020. The respondents became psychologically traumatized at their early stages of isolation. Their distress was concerned their family members, alongside themselves. They upheld an optim...
Article
Full-text available
Background With around 10 million diagnosed patients, Bangladesh remains at the forefront of the global type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) epidemic. A comprehensive understanding of the current T2DM scenario is required to curb the disease burden. In this study, we aimed to identify the prevalence, associated factors, and control status of T2DM in Ban...
Article
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Background Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is a proven low-cost intervention to prevent neonatal mortality of pre-term and low birth weight babies and is very relevant to Bangladesh. KMC provides thermal regulation and thus directly avert neonatal mortality. KMC includes early, continuous, and prolonged skin-to-skin contact between an infant and caregiv...
Article
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Proponents of the newly-developed “deliberative interview” argue that examining complex issues requires more dynamic and engaging interview exchanges. Unlike traditional qualitative interviews, deliberative interviewing champions opinion sharing, active debates and similar speaking times by both sides throughout the interview. Drawing on 20 intervi...
Article
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Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in Bangladesh, and as a result, Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is widespread in the population. DR, an eye illness caused by diabetes, can lead to blindness if it is not identified and treated in its early stages. Unfortunately, diagnosis of DR requires medically trained professionals, but Banglades...
Article
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Abstract Objective This study aimed to assess the possible relationship between television viewing and overweight and obesity among Timorese women of reproductive age. Methods This cross-sectional study analysed the Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey 2016 dataset. A weighted sample of 11 398 Timorese women aged 15–49 years was chosen using...
Preprint
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Introduction Global Polio Eradication Initiative, GPEI led by the World Health Organization (WHO), helped to develop standard acute flaccid paralysis surveillance (AFP) system worldwide, including Bangladesh, which comprises infrastructure, knowledge, expertise, funding, technical assistance, and trained personnel. AFP surveillance can complement a...
Preprint
Background: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) helped to develop the standard acute flaccid paralysis surveillance (AFP) system worldwidewhich comprises infrastructure, knowledge, expertise, funding, technical assistance, and trained personnel. AFP surveillance can complement any disease surveillance system, and many countries, includin...
Article
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Background Binary categorical approaches to diagnosing depression have been widely criticized due to clinical limitations and potential negative consequences. In place of such categorical models of depression, a ‘staged model’ has recently been proposed to classify populations into four tiers according to severity of symptoms: ‘Wellness;’ ‘Distress...
Chapter
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Sociodrama was originally developed by the founder of psychodrama and sociometry, J. L. Moreno in the USA during and after the Second World War. The sociodrama is an adaptation of a renowned folk tale Shat Bhai Chompa taken from the famous fairytale book Thakurmar Jhuli written by Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumdar. Using the metaphor of Shat Bhai Chomp...
Article
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Vertical disease control programmes have enormous potential to benefit or weaken health systems, and it is critical to understand how programmes' design and implementation impact the health systems and communities in which they operate. We use the Develop-Distort Dilemma (DDD) framework to understand how the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPE...
Article
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The barriers and facilitators of conducting knowledge translation (KT) activities are well-established but less is known about the institutional forces that drive these barriers, particularly in low resource settings. Understanding organizational readiness has been used to assess and address such barriers but the employment of readiness assessments...
Article
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Background: South Asia has become a major epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding South Asians' awareness, attitudes and experiences of early measures for the prevention of COVID-19 is key to improving the effectiveness and mitigating the social and economic impacts of pandemic responses at a critical time for the Region. Methods: We a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: After one year since emerging from Wuhan, China, the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still raging worldwide. Still, there is a dearth of original research exploring the attributes of COVID-19 patients from lower-and middle-income countries, such as Bangladesh. Based on a case series from a tertiary healthcare center, thi...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We implemented this study to report the prevalence and associated risk factors of hypertension among adult men and women aged >30 years residing in selected urban and rural areas of Dhaka division, Bangladesh. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Two urban (Dhaka city north and Dhaka city south) and two rural (Narsinghdi and Gazipur di...
Article
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Background Improving facility-based quality for maternal and neonatal care is the key to reducing morbidity and mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries. Recent guidance from WHO and others has produced a large number of indicators to choose from to track quality. Objective To explore how to translate complex global maternal and neonata...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background South Asia has become a major epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding South Asians’ awareness, attitudes and experiences of early measures for the prevention of COVID-19 is key to improving the effectiveness and mitigating the social and economic impacts of pandemic responses at a critical time for the Region. Methods We asses...
Article
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed hospitals in several areas in high-income countries. An effective response to this pandemic requires health care workers (HCWs) to be present at work, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where they are already in critically low supply. To inform whether and to what degree polic...
Article
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed hospitals in several areas in high-income countries. An effective response to this pandemic requires healthcare workers (HCWs) to be present at work, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where they are already in critically low supply. To inform whether and to what degree policy...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates childhood tuberculosis (tb) in high burden countries to be at least 10-15% of all cases. Despite intensive efforts on the childhood tb control program in Bangladesh, case detection rates stand below 5%. This study investigated the implementation pathway of childhood tb in Bangladesh. The study ai...
Preprint
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Background and aims: This paper describes the data resource profile of South Asia Biobank (SAB), which was set up in South Asia from November 2018 to March 2020, to identify the risk factors and their complex interactions underlying the development of type-2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases in South Asians. Data...
Article
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Background: Lessons from polio eradication efforts and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are useful for improving health service delivery and outcomes globally. The Synthesis and Translation of Research and Innovations from Polio Eradication (STRIPE) is a multi-phase project which aims to map, package and disseminate knowledge from po...
Article
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Background: Complex global initiatives, like the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), have prevented millions of paralyses and improved the health status of diverse populations. Despite the logistical challenges these initiatives must overcome at several levels, scant methods exist for systematically identifying and reaching a range of actor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Palliative care has been recognized as a global health challenge. Although access has increased, there is very low recognition of the importance of palliative care in low and middle-income countries. In Bangladesh, institutional palliative care is not accessible due to a lack of awareness, financial constraints, and fewer facilities. He...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Close-to-community (CTC) health service providers are a cost-effective and important resource in the promotion of and increasing access to health services. However, many CTC provider programmes suffer from high rates of de-motivation and attrition due to inadequate support systems. Recent literature has identified the lack of rigorous...
Article
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Background Embedded implementation research (IR) promotes evidence-informed policy and practices by involving decision-makers and program implementers in research activities that focus on understanding and solving existing implementation challenges. Although embedded IR has been conducted in multiple settings by different organizations, there are l...
Article
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Introduction and hypothesisWe assessed the association of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and urinary incontinence (UI), alone and in combination (POP-UI), and related factors with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in parous women in Bangladesh.Methods The study included 357 parous women: 107 with POP alone, 124 with POP-UI, and 126 with UI alone....
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates childhood tuberculosis (tb) in high burden countries to be at least 10-15% of all cases. Despite intensive efforts on the childhood tb control program in Bangladesh, case detection rates stand below 5%. This study investigated the implementation pathway of childhood tb in Bangladesh. The study a...
Article
Full-text available
Overweight and obesity are considered major public health concerns all over the world. They have the potential to increase the risk of developing non-communicable diseases in reproductive age women, increasing their risk of pregnancy related complications and adverse birth outcome. This study was carried out to identify the trend of prevalence of o...
Article
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Background The health status of Rohingya refugees or Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs), especially women and children, is a significant challenge for humanitarian workers in Bangladesh. Though the Government of Bangladesh, in partnership with other organizations, is offering health care services to FDMNs, a comprehensive understanding of...
Article
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Background: The prevalence of overweight and obesity, particularly among women, is increasing in Nepal. Previous studies in the South Asia have found television watching to be a risk factor for overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age. However, this association had not been studied in the context of Nepal. This study aims to identify...
Article
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Abtsract Background Tobacco is one of the leading causes of premature death around the world. In Nepal, tobacco kills 15,000 people every year. Men are also the primary users of tobacco. This study aimed to discern the prevalence and associated factors of tobacco use among Nepalese men aged 15–49 years. Methods This was a cross-sectional study. T...
Article
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Background: Qualitative research networks (QRNs) bring together researchers from diverse contexts working on multi-country studies. The networks may themselves form a consortium or may contribute to a wider research agenda within a consortium with colleagues from other disciplines. The purpose of a QRN is to ensure robust methods and processes tha...
Article
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Background: In spite of high prevalence rates, little is known about health seeking and related expenditure for chronic non-communicable diseases in low-income countries. We assessed relevant patterns of health seeking and related out-of-pocket expenditure in Bangladesh. Methods: We used data from a household survey of 2500 households conducted...
Article
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Background: Differences in contingent valuation (CV) estimates for identical healthcare goods can cast considerable doubt on the true economic measures of consumer preferences. Hypothetical nature of CV methods can potentially depend on the salience, context and perceived relevance of the good or service under consideration. Thus, the high demand...
Article
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Background and aims The burden of hypertension is increasing in Nepal. Different studies have evaluated the relationship between height and blood pressure in different regions, with mixed results. The relationship between height and hypertension has not yet been explored in the Nepalese context. Given this knowledge gap, this study aims to determin...
Article
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The field of implementation research (IR) is growing. However, there are no recognised IR core competencies in low/middle-income countries (LMICs), nor consistent curriculum across IR training programs globally. The goal of this effort is to develop a framework of IR core competencies for training programs in LMICs. The framework was developed usin...
Article
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine the gender differences in hypertension awareness, antihypertensive use and blood pressure (BP) control among the adult Nepalese population (≥18 years) using data from the nationally representative Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016. A weighted sample of 13,393 adults (5620 males and...
Article
Full-text available
Background: For women of reproductive age, overweight and obesity are an established risk factor for several medical complications. To address the increasing rate of obesity in India through public health awareness programs, the association between common behaviors and overweight and obesity needs to be investigated. This study aims to determine w...
Article
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Background: Slash and burn cultivators are a significant risk group for malaria in South-East Asia. As envisaged in the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination, Bangladesh aims to achieve zero indigenous malaria transmission by 2030. For the national plan to move from malaria control to malaria elimination, targeting the population of slas...
Article
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Background: Nepal has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the South Asia region, partly due to the underutilization of maternal health services and the high number of adolescent pregnancies. This study explores married Nepali adolescent girls' healthcare-seeking behaviour throughout their pregnancies, during their delivery and postpa...