With 160 million people Bangladesh is the world´s 8th most populated country. 1.071 people live in average on one square kilometer. For comparison only: Germany has 229, France 103 person per square kilometer. Bangladesh is located in the Bay of Bengal and was a part of Pakistan until 1971. Almost ninety percent of the population is belongs to the Muslim religion. Because of numerous rivers, Bangladesh is regularly threatened by floods during the monsoon season.
Big parts of the country have become useless for rice cultivation and market gardening caused by saltwater intrusion of subterranean water during the last floods. Therefore, many residents move to Dhaka, the capital city. There, they look for work, no matter which work. The average income of needlewomen and tanner is 17 Cent per hour for a six-day-week and between 12 and 14 hours a day. After China, Bangladesh is the world’s largest textile industry-and the EU is the biggest trading partner.
The socio-economic problems of the poor, the so called ultra-poor, are continuously increasing, also because the politics focus less and less on their problems. Unfortunately, Media also concentrates on other subjects, such as the terror attack in a western café in the diplomatic quarter in Dhaka in or the imprisonment of 11.000 people and the machete Attacks on seculars, atheists, intellectuals and religious minority.
Medical supply for the ultra-poor
Our approach in Bangladesh is the health care system from the point of view of the ultra-poor. We want to clear the way for them to get a free medical care and supply.
At the moment we deliver seven hospitals in the north of the country. We take care of the rural sections of Bangladesh and provide the necessary instruments, equipment and medication to conduct small surgeries. The destitute patients, many of them women who often accept female doctors only; now have a better access to medical care. In our Cap Anamur project we threat around 10.000 patients per month.
Many of those never had the chance to get to a hospital because of the high expenses. Often, people don’t even go to the hospital, as the transport, the examination and the medicine may cost the whole savings of a family. During monsoon season it is very important that people get a special electrolyte-mix when affected by a diarrhea, otherwise even a simple diarrhea could cause death. So we work on to support the local hospitals and their medicals to have the chance to take care of more patients.
For the first time since their independence from Pakistan 45 years ago, Bangladesh is in a very alarming situation. For the peaceful people, the repressive position of the government is very upsetting. The local administration and police are advising foreign doctors to leave the country. Cap Anamur wanted to send medicals for further support to Bangladesh. But this process will be delayed until we get all formalities. To get a proper resident permit of 3 month you have to get the permission of four different ministries and give a monthly report about the work we do. The high level of bureaucracy will not change anything of our engagement.