FE Today Logo
Search date: 20-02-2018 Return to current date: Click here

Public health issues and challenges

February 20, 2018 00:00:00

THERE has been a marked improvement in public health in Bangladesh over the past three decades. Life expectancy at birth is approximately 70 years, just above the World Health Organisation's world average of 69 years. Maternal mortality, infant and child mortality, and malnutrition rates have all declined substantially, and Bangladesh is on track to achieve its Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health. Nevertheless, Bangladesh faces major health challenges with national population projected to grow to between 200 to 225 million over the next four decades.

Furthermore, the health system of the country is heavily reliant on the government or the public sector for policy making, financing and service delivery. Although the system is confronted with intractable challenges, it appears to receive little attention in terms of resource allocation. According to the 2010 statistics of World Health Organisation (WHO) only about 3.0 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on health services. Based on a review of secondary data, WHO suggests that the health system faces multifaceted challenges, such as lack of public health facilities, scarcity of skilled workforce, weak health information system, etc. To top it all, the country still does not have a comprehensive health policy to strengthen the overall health care system. Clearly, the most crucial challenge is the absence of a dynamic and proactive stewardship capable of designing and materialising effective policies to further strengthen and enhance the overall health care system. A strong and able leadership could bring about meaningful changes. These challenges are to be overcome and a comprehensive health policy should be in place to develop the health care system.


East West University

[email protected]

Share if you like