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Mallick D.,Deakin University | Rafi M.,Research and Evaluation Division
World Development | Year: 2010

This paper uses household and village-level survey data to investigate the food security of male- and female-headed households in Bangladesh with particular attention to indigenous ethnic groups, and finds no significant differences in the food security between these two types of households. The absence of social and cultural restrictions among the indigenous groups permitting their females greater freedom to participate in the labor force coupled with informal redistributive mechanism is attributed to their less food insecurity. This result indicates that noneconomic institutions can significantly impact economic outcomes such as food security. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Ahmed S.M.,Research and Evaluation Division | Zerihun A.,Evaluation and Research Unit
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: The use of insecticidal bed nets is found to be an effective public health tool for control of malaria, especially for under-five children and pregnant women. BRAC, an indigenous Bangladeshi non-governmental development organization, started working in the East African state of Uganda in June 2006. As part of its efforts to improve the health and well-being of its participants, BRAC Uganda has been distributing long lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLIN) at a subsidized price through health volunteers since February 2008. This study was conducted in March-April 2009 to examine how equitable the programme had been in consistence with BRAC Uganda's pro-poor policy. Methodology/Principal Findings: Information on possession of LLINs and relevant knowledge on its proper use and maintenance was collected from households either with an under-five child and/or a pregnant woman. The sample included three villages from each of the 10 branch offices where BRAC Uganda's community-based health programme was operating. Data were collected by trained enumerators through face-to-face interviews using a hand-held personal digital assistant (PDA). Findings reveal that the study population had superficial knowledge on malaria and its transmission, including the use and maintenance of LLINs. The households' rate of possession of bed nets (41-59%), and the proportion of under-five children (17-19%) and pregnant women (25-27%) who reported sleeping under an LLIN were not encouraging. Inequity was observed in the number of LLINs possessed by the households, in the knowledge on its use and maintenance, and between the two programme areas. Conclusions/Significance: The BRAC Uganda's LLINs distribution at a subsidized price appeared to be inadequate and inequitable, and BRAC's knowledge dissemination is insufficient for initiating preventive actions such as proper use of LLINs to interrupt malaria transmission. Findings contribute to the on-going debate on LLINs distribution in Africa and make a strong case for its free distribution. © 2010 Ahmed, Zerihun. Source

Mistry S.K.,Research and Evaluation Division | Puthussery S.,University of Bedfordshire
Public Health | Year: 2015

Objective: To assess and synthesize the published evidence on risk factors of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence in South Asia. Study design: A systematically conducted narrative review. Methods: A systematic review was conducted of all primary studies published between January 1990 and June 2013 from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives located through the following data bases: PubMed, PubMed central, EMBASE, MEDLINE, BioMed central, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and electronic libraries of the authors' institutions. Data extraction and quality appraisal of included studies was done independently by two authors and findings were synthesized in a narrative manner as meta-analysis was found to be inappropriate due to heterogeneity of the included studies. Results: Eleven primary studies were included in the final review, all of which were conducted in school settings in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Prevalence of overweight and obesity showed wide variations in the included studies. The key individual risk factors with statistically significant associations to overweight and obesity included: lack of physical activities reported in six studies; prolonged TV watching/playing computer games reported in four studies; frequent consumption of fast food/junk food reported in four studies; and frequent consumption of calorie dense food items reported in two studies. Family level risk factors included higher socioeconomic status reported in four studies and family history of obesity reported in three studies. Conclusion: This review provides evidence of key contributors to the increasing burden of obesity and overweight among children and adolescents in South Asia, and demonstrates the nutritional transition that characterizes other developing countries and regions around the world. The findings have implications for policy, practice and the development of interventions at various levels to promote healthy eating and physical activity among children and adolescents in the region as well as more globally. © 2014 The Royal Society for Public Health. Source

Kabir Z.N.,Karolinska Institutet | Nasreen H.,International Islamic University Malaysia | Edhborg M.,Research and Evaluation Division
Global Health Action | Year: 2014

Background: The prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV), a gross violation of human rights, ranges widely across the world with higher prevalence reported in low- and middle-income countries. Evidence related mainly to physical health shows that IPV has both direct and indirect impacts on women's health. Little is known about the impact of IPV on the mental health of women, particularly after childbirth. Objective: To describe the prevalence of IPV experienced by women 6-8 months after childbirth in rural Bangladesh and the factors associated with physical IPV. The study also aims to investigate the association between IPV and maternal depressive symptoms after childbirth. Design: The study used cross-sectional data at 6-8 months postpartum. The sample included 660 mothers of newborn children. IPV was assessed by physical, emotional, and sexual violence. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale assessed maternal depressive symptoms. Results: Prevalence of physical IPV was 52%, sexual 65%, and emotional 84%. The husband's education (OR: 0.41, CI: 0.23-0.73), a poor relationship with the husband (OR: 2.64, CI: 1.07-6.54), and emotional violence by spouse (OR: 1.58, CI: 1.35-1.83) were significantly associated with physical IPV experienced by women. The perception of a fussy and difficult child (OR: 1.05, CI: 1.02-1.08), a poor relationship with the husband (OR: 4.95, CI: 2.55-9.62), and the experience of physical IPV (OR: 2.83, CI: 1.72-4.64) were found to be significant predictors of maternal depressive symptoms among women 6-8 months after childbirth. Neither forced sex nor emotional violence by an intimate partner was found to be significantly associated with maternal depressive symptoms 6-8 months postpartum. Conclusions: It is important to screen for both IPV and depressive symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum. Since IPV and spousal relationships are the most important predictors of maternal depressive symptoms in this study, couple-focused interventions at the community level are suggested. © 2014 Zarina N. Kabir et al. Source

Hashima-E-Nasreen,Research and Evaluation Division
Global health action | Year: 2011

Evidence exists about prevention of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) by oral administration of misoprostol in low-income countries, but effectiveness of prevention by lay community health workers (CHW) is not sufficient. This study aimed to investigate whether a single dose (400 μg) of oral misoprostol could prevent PPH in a community home-birth setting and to assess its acceptability and feasibility among rural Bangladeshi women. This quasi-experimental trial was conducted among 2,017 rural women who had home deliveries between November 2009 and February 2010 in two rural districts of northern Bangladesh. In the intervention district 1,009 women received 400 μg of misoprostol immediately after giving birth by the lay CHWs, and in the control district 1,008 women were followed after giving birth with no specific intervention against PPH. Primary PPH (within 24 hours) was measured by women's self-reported subjective measures of the normality of blood loss using the 'cultural consensus model.' Baseline data provided socio-economic, reproductive, obstetric, and bleeding disorder information. The incidence of primary PPH was found to be lower in the intervention group (1.6%) than the control group (6.2%) (p<0.001). Misoprostol provided 81% protection (RR: 0.19; 95% CI: 0.08-0.48) against developing primary PPH. The proportion of retained and manually removed placentae was found to be higher in the control group compared to the intervention group. Women in the control group were more likely to need an emergency referral to a higher level facility and blood transfusion than the intervention group. Unexpectedly few women experienced transient side effects of misoprostol. Eighty-seven percent of the women were willing to use the drug in future pregnancy and would recommend to other pregnant women. Community-based distribution of oral misoprostol (400 μg) by CHW appeared to be effective, safe, acceptable, and feasible in reducing the incidence of PPH in rural areas of Bangladesh. This strategy should be scaled up across the country where access to skilled attendance is limited. Source

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