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The Financial Express

Premature deaths in Bangladesh rise alarmingly

| Updated: September 27, 2022 20:37:53


Premature deaths in Bangladesh increasingly alarmingly

According to Macrotrend's data, the average life expectancy in Bangladesh will be more than 73 years in 2022. But reality does not support the theoretical projection always.

Not a single day is passed without some premature deaths here. Knoema, the famous website for data analysis, shows that in 2020, adult mortality between ages 15-50 years in Bangladesh was 16.23 per cent. Though death is sudden and inevitable, looking into the major reasons behind premature deaths can give an insight into our room for improving the condition.

Environmental pollution

Bangladesh is currently the most polluted nation in the world. The average Bangladeshi's life expectancy is reduced by air pollution by 6.7 years. From the research of the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), it is found that particulate pollution levels are at least four times the WHO standard in each of the country's 64 districts.

Thanks to water, air, and other pollution, over 2.15 lakh people died in 2019. Approximately 24,000 premature deaths were attributed to air pollution only in Dhaka between 2005 and 2018, according to a study published in Science Advances. Among the 46 cities examined, that was the highest. At present, the death rate due to environmental pollution is no lesser.

Non-communicable diseases

Almost two third of the total death is caused by diseases like stroke, cancer, diabetes, lung or kidney diseases, etc. That is acceptable after a certain age in someone's life. But recently, an alarming number of people are found with those diseases in their early thirties.

Different researches show that uncontrolled food habits, sleep irregularities, obesity, smoking, and intake of a lot of medicines are mostly responsible for these diseases. At present, 27.5 per cent of people over 40 years are in great danger of NCD. Eventually, that leads to thousands of deaths yearly before people reach their fifties.

Road accidents

According to the Bangladesh Road Safety Foundation's (RSF) annual report, at least 6,284 people died, and 7,468 others were injured in road accidents in 2021. Among them, there were many kids and young people.

RSF also shows that students account for 11 per cent of all fatal road accident victims in April 2022. Other than urbanisation and motorisation, unplanned and narrow routes, incompetency of the drivers, and ineffective traffic systems are the major reasons for the increasing number of accidents.

Drowning

Over 40 Bangladeshi children drown every day, according to the Center for Injury Prevention and Research. They estimate that around 19 thousand individuals of all ages drown in Bangladesh every year, with children under 18 years making up nearly 77 per cent of the total.

This horrible scenario is largely caused by inadequate parental supervision, illiteracy, inability to swim, and natural calamities. Unfortunately, drowning is one of the top reasons for children's death rate with pneumonia and malnutrition.

Suicide

As many as 45 school and college students committed suicide each month until August in 2022. According to the Aachol Foundation, Bangladesh reported 70 per cent more suicide deaths than COVID-19 in 2021. 49 per cent of the suicide victims were between the ages of 20-35.

Our social structure, family expectations, ill monitoring by parents, lack of mental health improvement campaigns, etc., are to blame the most for those deaths.

Taking pride in the increasing average lifespan will not suffice. With that, decreasing the premature death rates can create a better impact on people's life, social structure, environment, and the whole nation.

While numbers showing a dire picture, thoughtful solutions should come out from proper research and intellectual participation.

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