Global Snapshots: Bangladesh - dramatic improvements
- By: Julie-Anne Greenslade
Poor, packed, flat, watery, and full of rickshaws--the common images of Bangladesh for most people. But, through new innovative and comprehensive approaches, Bangladesh is making remarkable progress in tackling healthcare needs and reducing the growth rate of the population.
With 129 million people crammed into 133 910 km2, Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world.1 This is equivalent to twice the UK population in half the land, with a population growing at a rate of 2.2% each year.2 During monsoon, up to two thirds of the country is flooded with recurrent cyclones destroying property, agriculture, and thousands of lives.
Health indicators paint an even bleaker picture. Half of Bangladeshis are estimated to live below the poverty line and less than 40% have access to modern primary health care beyond immunisation and family planning.3 Nutritional deficiencies, overcrowding, poor water and sanitation, violence against women, and inequality all contribute