The coastal areas of Bangladesh cover 19 districts , consist of 32% of the total land of the country, and holds 26% of the country’s total population. Although more than 37 million people’s livelihoods are sustained by the coastal areas, proportion of people living with poverty remains very high in these areas. Among the 19 coastal districts, 14 have poverty rates greater than the national average, and are mostly vulnerable in terms of insecurities regarding food, income, water, and health. Accessing necessary healthcare remains a challenge for the people living in the coastal areas, particularly the marginalized and disabled. These areas suffer from a lack of appropriate health facilities and skilled healthcare providers. Existing healthcare services are limited, and inadequate to address the health needs of the inhabitants in these areas. The problem multiplies when we consider the needs of the disabled, which constitute 7% of the total population of the country. This particular group of disadvantaged people often face social exclusion in many aspects. Exploring the health needs and health seeking behaviours of the disadvantaged people, including the disabled, in the coastal areas of Bangladesh is necessary. It is also important to understand the existing health system’s response towards their health needs.
This study was conducted in 2 coastal divisions of Bangladesh, Barishal and Khulna, to understand the health needs, health seeking behaviours of the population particularly the disadvantaged and disabled living in these areas, and existing health system’s response towards their health needs.
This research project was supported by Department for International Development’s South Asia Research Hub,
Fauzia Akhter Huda, Hassan Rushekh Mahmood, Aniqa Tasnim Hossain, Jasmin Khan, Omar Faruk, Zahed Shafiqur Razzak, Kazi Tamara Binta Kamal, Shams El Arifeen (2020) Health Needs and Health System Response in the Coastal Districts of Bangladesh. International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh