Rapid Needs Assessment COVID-19 impacts on Urban Health in Bangladesh

Publication Date: 01/06/2020

Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in Bangladesh earlier this March, Bangladesh is at an economic and social standstill due to the government imposed nation-wide lockdown. Although every sector of the country is facing problems, the health sector is currently among the most affected sectors.
The Health Access and Linkage Opportunities for Workers Plus (HALOW+) is directly related to the health sector and is responsible for maintaining the overall health and safety of the people/areas under its intervention. To assess the current situation of the RMG workers of 17 factories and their respective communities under HALOW+ in this pandemic crisis, a small-scale survey study was conducted from 23rd-26th April, 2020. A total of 141 participants from both Community Support Groups (CSG), Urban Low income
people including RMG Workers, Ward Health Development Committee and GO – NGO Coordination Forum, District Managers of Public, Private and NGO health and Family Planning department, Public Health Specialist from UN bodies, INGO and Academic institutes and RMG Factory owner and senior management were interviewed with a standardized questionnaire. The study revealed that COVID-19 had a significant impact on the overall health system as a total of 322 health workers out of 516 in Gazipur are currently in home/institutional quarantine, telemedicine facilities have dropped to 80% and there’s a 50% reduction in total patient reported in Upazila Health Complexes (UHC)-reasons being absence of doctors and proper medical facilities.