Health and Hygiene Tips for Bangladesh

Bangladesh offers the unique ability to experience nature at its purest however disease and weather can challenge any traveler trying to stay healthy while traveling.

It remains virtually untouched and undiscovered by the outside world, which only adds to its intrigue. Beautiful landscapes abound, from lush rainforests teeming with wildlife to sandy beaches and green rolling hills.

Health

Before you go

First and foremost, keep in mind that medical facilities and treatment in Bangladesh are not of good quality. For this reason, you should consult with your physician a few months prior to travel to discuss your trip and determine if you should receive any particular vaccinations or immunizations. Most of these medications take several weeks to take effect so leave yourself plenty of time. You'll want to take whatever precautions you can to avoid having to seek medical treatment while in Bangladesh.

Diseases

Insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are common. There have also been some reported cases of Japanese encephalitis. Malaria is typically restricted to the more rural areas of the country, but dengue can be found throughout, including the larger cities like Dhaka. The best way to avoid catching any of these illnesses is to use insect repellent that contains DEET and to wear clothing that covers exposed skin on your arms, legs and feet.

HIV/AIDS is a growing problem in Bangladesh so precautions should be taken to avoid exposure. Needles should never be shared, including those used for tattooing and proper protection should be used during intercourse. While the overall percentage of people living with the illness was estimated to be around .1% in 2010 (lower than in many other countries), this number appears to be on the rise.

Avoid drinking tap water, including ice cubes, as it may be contaminated. Stick to bottled water during your stay or boil it if possible. Similarly, avoid consuming or handling undercooked beef or beef products as this can cause a variety of infectious diseases. In 2010 there were several hundred reported cases of the coetaneous form of anthrax, which is believed to have been the result of diseased animals (either consuming or coming into close contact with). Further outbreaks of this and other infectious diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, tuberculosis, polio, rabies and Nipah virus could occur at any time.

Other tips

Swimming in fresh water could cause exposure to certain water-borne parasites so avoid it or do so with caution. So called "black henna", or temporary tattoos done with dye, and other types of body painting could cause serious allergies and skin conditions. The air in Dhakar can be extremely polluted so avoid spending a lot of time outdoors if air quality happens to be a problem when you're there. This is particularly important for those suffering from existing respiratory problems.

Weather and Natural Hazards

The months of June through September make up monsoon season in Bangladesh. Flooding and landslides could occur throughout the country with little notice, and have the potential to cause damage to property as well as pose a danger to human life. Larger cities, like Dhakar, can be particularly unpleasant during this season as the heavy wind and rain can affect electricity supplies, services and transportation and can cause sewage to overflow.

Cyclone seasons are May to June and October to November. These dangerous storms can cause extensive damage and often occur with little to no warning. If you are traveling during these months, pay close attention to the local weather and avoid embarking on long journeys as you may find yourself trapped with no way to travel back to the larger cities.

Bangladesh happens to be located in a high-risk earthquake zone since the country is situated on a major geological fault line. As recent as 2008, the country suffered a tremor measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale and 40 people were injured as a result.

Earthquakes can also cause dangerous tsunamis, for which the government will typically issue warnings. Keep a close eye on local news reports and pay attention to any warnings to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

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  • jacob said

    what is it that the government is doing to respond to its countries' conditions?

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