The area of Chakaria is typical of rural Bangladesh, where the past decades have shown remarkable improvements in health conditions and fertility levels. Notwithstanding these advances, there remain enormous challenges of poverty, vulnerability to floods and cyclones, environmental poisoning, and a heavy burden of malnutrition and disease.
The research in this volume provides new insights into how to address the continuing health problems of the population. The answer is not to simply do more of the same approaches that have been tried in the past, but to learn about health conditions and health services from the perspectives of ordinary people. This means understanding and influencing the market of health services that is actually operating in rural Bangladesh, rather than limiting our vision to an idealized but unrealistic plan that involves a small set of health providers.
The research described in this volume has similar objectives to research conducted by the seven partners of the Future Health Systems research consortium working in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Nigeria, and Uganda. Working together and in their own countries, consortium members are seeking to generate knowledge about health systems that will benefit the world’s poor. Finding ways to improve the delivery of health care, reduce the financial burden of health care, and develop policy processes to engage the poor are common themes. In each country, local stakeholders have helped to design the research along with research organizations to best address local priorities and interests.
Bhuiya, A. (Ed), Health for the Rural Masses: Insights from Chakaria, ICDDR, B, Dhaka, Bangladesh, ISBN-978-984-551-305-0, 130 pp.