65,910 Bangladeshis arsenicosis patients | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 30, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

65,910 Bangladeshis arsenicosis patients

65,910 Bangladeshis arsenicosis patients

Says health department survey of 2012

A total of 65,910 Bangladeshis are affected by arsenicosis disease which is caused by drinking and using arsenic contaminated water, according to a survey conducted by the health department in 2012.
However, the actual number of affected people is much higher than the survey, said a data, presented yesterday by NGO Forum for Public Health, a non-government organisation working for safe drinking water, at a meeting titled "Linking Arsenicosis Patients to Better Treatment Facilities".
Besides the identified patients, about 7.5 million people are at risk of being affected by arsenicosis and 2.4 million are victims of possible arsenic contamination, the data added.
NGO Forum with assistance from the European Union organised the event in the public health department in the capital.
Out of the total arsenicosis patients, 66 percent are women, mentioned Dr Abul Hasnat Milton, senior lecturer at the School of Medicine and Public Health, Newcastle University, Australia, adding that 48 percent of the total patients are not getting treatment for a lack of health services and medicines.  
Female arsenicosis patients fall victims to the repression of family members and they are compelled to give more dowry, said Dr Mahbuba Nasrin, director, Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies of the University of Dhaka.
There is a lack of safe water in many areas which have arsenic in water and the government is not paying proper importance to this matter, said Dr M Firoze Ahmad, pro-vice chancellor of Stamford University.
Zuena Aziz, additional secretary and director general of Local Government Division; Khaleda Ahsan, chief engineer of the Department of Public Health, and  SMA Rashid, executive director of NGO Forum, also spoke.

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