The health situation in Bangladesh remains poor as compared to world health standards despite the improvement measures initiated by the government over the past decade. Malnourishment is a major problem faced by the poor and economically backward class and is the cause of death of two-thirds of children aged less than five years. Children face major health problems during their development years. Almost 50 percent of all children are underweight and face issues of poor physical and mental growth. Despite the governmental efforts in prevention and control of communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis , a lot still remains to be done to gain control over the alarming situation of poor health of the country’s children and infants.
Governmental health care plans do not reach their desired audience and the rural population remains deprived of even basic healthcare facilities. It is believed that only 40 percent of the population receive primary health care and most of them stay in main cites and nearby areas. With just 1.1 percent of the GDP being spent on health, the country remains abysmally backwards when it comes to providing health care to its needy population. World Health Organization states that Primary Health Care System covers just 12 areas and reaches out to just 48 million people which is less than 40 percent of the population of the country.
Eye health is another area where the government has a lot of catching up to do to be able to match the standards set by other developing countries. Bangladesh has around 750,000 blind people with cataract being the main reason in 80 percent of the population. Other reasons are macular degeneration, uncorrected aphakia – a condition in which the internal crystalline lens of the eye is absent and refractive error. Over 120,000 cataract operations are performed annually in government managed hospitals and private health care centers. Lack of trained eye health personnel and poor public awareness about the condition is the reason why there is low number of cataract surgical rates and a perennially huge backlog. Most cases of blindness are curable and even avoidable but the barriers in accessing eye health care services are sometimes far too insurmountable for the economically backward class people.
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