Strengthening counseling corner in NCD corner for reducing risk due to non-communicable diseases in Jashore district


As described by WHO Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors. The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

In recent years Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become one of the major global public health problems having its adverse effects in low- and middle-income countries where human and technical resources in the public health services are extremely limited. NCD is a burning issue for the world as it causes 63% (36 million) of total 57 million deaths globally where nearly 80% of NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

In Bangladesh, NCDs also account for 67% of the total deaths, exceeding other causes such as childbirth-related and infectious diseases. The under-privileged communities in the country are bearing the heaviest toll of this burden. According to the “NCDs Country Profile 2018”, According to the “Risk Factor Survey 2010 about 99% of the surveyed population had at least one NCD risk factor and 29% had more than three risk factors. Rural inhabitants and urban slum dwellers particularly suffer the most. Unavailability of skilled human resources to address NCDs, poor NCD surveillance system, lack of proper information and coordination between public and private services also have roles in increasing NCD burden.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) included non-communicable diseases in the strategic plan for Health, Population & Nutrition Sector Development Program (HPNSDP, 2011 – 2016) and Arsenicosis is being managed by the NCD Section of the DGHS. Since the preventive care for arsenicosis and non-communicable diseases are similar, Asia Arsenic Network (AAN) has been entrusted by the DGHS to implement NCD control activities utilizing its arsenic mitigation and arsenicosis patient management expertise.

AAN carried out a project entitled “Risk-Reduction of Non-Communicable Diseases in Jessore District” during the period of April 2013 to March 2016 and “Strengthening Community Capacity for Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention in Khulna Division” during the period of March 2019 to March 2019. Through the project the organization advocated the know-how of avoiding unsafe behavior and promoted NCD risk identification campaigns among the residents in the project area since early detection helps them prevent NCD burden. It was observed through the study that, inappropriate dietary patterns, smoking habit and lack of physical exercise increase the burden for NCDs. Alongside the emission of carbon dioxide from factories and vehicles as well as traditional cooking stoves and high level of arsenic contamination also increase the NCD burden. Through a brief survey it was learnt that appropriate knowledge on nutrition and motivation to have health condition examined to identify NCD risks is largely absent in the south-western part of the country.

Based on the experience of the previous project, AAN, in consultation with the DGHS, decided to conduct a new project titled “Strengthening Counseling Corner in NCD Corner for Reducing Risk die to Non-Communicable Diseases in Jashore District” Here the project targeted 4 Upazila Complexes named Chaugachha, Keshabpur, Monirampur and Sadar where early detection will be promoted developing a sound database system.