AKM Fazlur Rahman is the Executive Director at the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh. He is also working as Professor and Advisor in the department of Epidemiology, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences. Before joining the present posts, he worked in the department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child and Mother Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh in the capacity of Associate Professor. He has also been working as guest faculty in several universities including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh, Karlstad University, Orebro University and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden .
He has been working in the field of Public Health for more than twenty eight years. He completed his PhD from the department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska University, Stockholm, Sweden in 2000. He developed injury surveillance methods for low income countries.
He conducted a number of research works in the field of maternal and child health. He was one of the principal investigators of Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey, 2003. He also conducted research called PRECISE on child injury prevention in Bangladesh- a noteworthy research work in developing countries. He has published more than 120 scientific articles on public health issues including maternal and child health in various peer reviewed journals. He has presented a number of papers as key note speaker in several conferences related to injury prevention and safety promotion and maternal health. He is one of the editors of the World Report on Child Injury Prevention published by WHO and UNICEF.
Towards age-friendly health services in Bangladesh: development of an integrated framework in low-resource setting context.
Background and objectives
In Bangladesh, the proportion of aged population has been almost doubled in last 20 years. Now about 10% of the total population are 60 years and above. Accordingly, the burden of disease among elderly population has been increased tremendously. However, the health system has not been ready at all to address the elderly health problem in the country. This study has been conducted to assess the health system’s readiness to deal with the elderly health issues in terms of access to health care, management process and wellbeing of elderly population. . The other objectives of this study are to understand the perception and attitude of the health managers regarding the age-friendly health services, also to assess the capacity of health care providers to cope up with the elderly health problem.
Both qualitative and quantitative methods were followed to conduct the study. 12 different levels of health facilities were assessed to determine the age-friendly health services through observation, interviewing health mangers and health care providers. Data were collected utilizing a pretested checklist and interview schedule. Qualitative data were also collected from fifteen different level health managers through in-depth interview. Finally a workshop was organized with various stakeholders to design an integrated framework for age-friendly health services in Bangladesh.
There is no provision of age-friendly hospital services in 12 different health facilities. Only one tertiary level hospital has the geriatric unit, however, only 3% health care providers has specialized training to deal with geriatric problem. However, all health managers recognize the importance of age-friendly hospital initiatives and interested to involve themselves in the process of developing such initiatives. All stakeholders recommend integrating the elderly health services into the existing health system. A framework has been developed for age-friendly hospital initiatives for the health services in low-resource setting context. The policy makers in health sector should consider the age-friendly hospital initiative framework to include in the sectoral plan to address the elderly health issue in Bangladesh.
Conclusions and Policy Implication
Health system of Bangladesh is not at all ready to cope up the increasing demand of aged population. There is widespread lack of trained health care providers to deal with the health and wellbeing of elderly population. It is an urgent need to develop age-friendly health services in Bangladesh. An integrated model with capacity development of existing health care providers to deal the elderly health problems can be useful in Bangladesh. The policy makers in health sector should consider the age-friendly health system initiatives in health sector plan to address the elderly health issues in Bangladesh.