Bangladesh’s exposure is not the same as other developing countries
Developing countries like Bangladesh are all vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and various public health emergencies, but their vulnerability is not the same, according to Dr Shabana Khan, founder and director of the Indian Research Academy.
“This is the very reason why we have seen different Covid-19 challenges faced by countries with similar cultures or levels of development. Bangladesh is uniquely exposed to the impacts of climate change and public health emergencies she told the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.
“Its low topography, high population density, poverty and exposure to various hazards, such as floods, storms, earthquakes or communicable diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia, induce a variety of patterns of vulnerability “, said Dr. Shabana.
She added that these issues need to be addressed individually.
Dr Shabana, who works as a research consultant on natural hazards, disasters and climate change, was hesitant to designate any group – in terms of age or gender – as vulnerable, because “vulnerability is neither absolute nor constant”.
“Children can be vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and poverty, but not all are equally vulnerable. Similarly, women may be vulnerable due to poor economic conditions and their health care responsibilities, but their vulnerability would vary over time and space,” she explained.
Authorities and public health experts should pay particular attention to vulnerability with the aim of reducing vulnerability rather than managing disasters, Dr Shabana suggested.
She said it would be more effective in reducing disasters and coping with the consequences, because “vulnerability to a hazard and a disaster also tend to differ. It is easier to address vulnerability at the community level because communities are a microcosm of vulnerability and resilience.
Therefore, the expert said, authorities and experts can benefit more from their partnership and greater interactions with local communities to address their vulnerabilities.