Dr. Farah Naz Rahman has been working as Honorary Medical Officer at Geriatric Medicine Unit in Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh for last one year. She also worked at Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) as Research Assistant for six months. She passed MBBS from Mymensing Medical College under Dhaka University. She completed one year internship training at Mymensigh Medical College Hospital for one year. She presented two papers in two international conferences in Korea and Japan. She is highly committed to work for aged population through developing her career in Geriatric Medicine.
Magnitude of elderly falls in Bangladesh and victim’s subsequent help seeking behavior- warrants an urgent policy direction.
Fall is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity among older adults in Bangladesh. Access to health care of elderly fall victims is also very limited in this country. However, the information on these aspects of elderly fall are inadequate. The objective of this study was to depict the picture of elderly fall problem and also to explore the help-seeking behavior of the elderly fall patients which will ultimately help policy makers to address the elderly fall issue efficiently in order to achieve SDGs by 2030.
Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey 2016 (BHIS 2016) data was analyzed to calculate the mortality and morbidity rate due to fall among population of 60 years age and above. BHIS 2016 was a national level population based survey conducted among more than 300,000 population by CIPRB in collaboration with Director General of Health Services. National burden of elderly falls in terms of number of deaths and disability due to fall among the older adults in 2015 was also estimated utilizing the fall death and disability rate. Proportion of deaths due to fall among all deaths in all population, and in population segregated by age and sex was also calculated for the year 2015. 95% confidence interval was also calculated for both death and disability rates. Health seeking behavior of fall victims were also determined.
The proportion of death caused by fall among all deaths and among all injury deaths in older population was 1.08% and 40% respectively. The age-standardized fall mortality rate was calculated as 43.8 per 100,000 per year in 2015. (95% CI 22.3 to 78.1) in 2015. Among the elderly population the fall related morbidity rate was calculated as 6.2% (95% CI 5.9 to 6.5) in 2015. Only 49.5% elderly fall victims received first aid after incurring fall injury of which only 1% were medically trained providers. Only 15.7% of fall victims received treatment from registered physician and 19.8% elderly fall patients attended health care facilities. Of the total fall patients 9% admitted in the hospital for proper treatment.
Fall was identified as a major health problem among elderly population in Bangladesh. Access to proper health care was found clearly inadequate after incurring fall among older population. In addition to strong political commitment, strengthening of the fall prevention program is urgently needed to address the elderly fall effectively in Bangladesh.