Let us not wait to be hit by one crisis after another. Let us take care of ourselves before getting sick
The Covid-19 pandemic is now front and centre on everybody’s minds. Indeed, it is a crisis we must tackle right now before all else. But it also must be remembered that the health of a population comes down to many more factors, and in order to be a truly healthy nation, it is not enough to focus on just one thing. Cancer patients, for example, are much more likely to die of Covid-19, and the pandemic has created the worst cancer crisis in the world as well.
The air pollution situation in Bangladesh is simply untenable, and is getting worse day by day. In the early stages of lockdown last year, at first it seemed as though the air was clearing up. But any good news on the air pollution frontier was short-lived. Soon, Dhaka’s air quality was back to being the worst in the world. Here, it must be said that poor quality air is not some mere inconvenience, it is, quite simply, a health hazard. Just like Covid-19, dengue, or other diseases can send people to the hospital, so can the effects of air pollution, or even noise pollution.
For too long, we have downplayed these issues, but is time for us to look at health holistically. After all, one problem exacerbates another. Since a corona-virus patient is more likely to die if they have pre-existing conditions, those diseases must be prevented, and awareness must be raised. The fatality rate could be brought down if the population was healthier in the first place.
The simple fact of the matter is, Bangladesh is not a healthy nation. Let us not wait to be hit by one crisis after another. Let us take care of ourselves before getting sick.