Health & Safety


I still do not understand the reason behind the intense media mania on Abdul Jalil. Mr Jalil was an important factor as GS and spokesperson of his party. But his shameful surrender of ideal and political stand only after one day of jail sentence is adequate to make him irrelevant in politics.  But the sudden media hype over Mr Jalil’s recent ‘life threatening’ illness and emergency Singapore trip is very disgusting. Even after Mr Jalil left for Singapore, media keeps on pushing their pathetic reporting. Todays newspaper headlines were ‘Jalil wakes up from anethesia after two hours’, ‘Jalil talks’, ‘Jalil’s wife calls their sons’, ‘ Jalil’s surgery successful’, blah blah blah….

Most shameful of all is that there was no pressing emergency to send Jalil to Singapore. Medical journalism is terrible in Bangladesh. Whatever I could decipher is that Mr Jalil has kidney dysfunction. There are 20 million people in Bangladesh with Kidney disease, and between 20-50 thousand people develop kidney failure each year. Mr Jalil was also developing kidney failure. Kidney failure is a slow process.  His options were to either start dialysis once there is total shutdown  and I am pretty sure, by looking at his photos, he is not there yet (This may be months to a year from now) . Any sane approach was to be prepared for dialysis by preparing a vascular access in his arm through which dialysis may be started quickly once there is complete shutdown.  Singapore physicians are doing exactly that. The surgery they are talking about in newspapers was this access procedure.  And to be fair to Bangladeshi physicians, this procedure can be performed in Bangladesh. It is a very simple procedure and there are many physicians in Bangladesh who do it on a daily basis.  And there are many people in Bangladesh who are continuing their job or running businesses while attending three times a week dialysis.  The other option was kidney transplant. This is another stupid reporting. First, Mr Jalil is not even on dialysis, that means his kidneys are still functional.  Transplant could be considered once a patient is on dialysis for a considerable length of time.  And preparation for transplant may take years. First thing, one has to manage a good kidney. This is something you can not find in a medicine store in Singapore. Somebody has to donate it. I doubt Mr Jalil’s family members will donate their kidney. That means he has to buy a kidney. That further means that some poor soul in Bangladesh will have to sell his kidney. And even one simply can’t buy a kidney from just anybody. There has to be different kind of immune matching including blood group, HLA etc.

So all the media stuff about Jalil’s life was at stake and he had no option but to go to Singapore for emergency kidney transplant were all BS.

Jalil’s case is an example. After closely following all the events in Bangladesh, I can categorically say that I have not yet come across any single illness of any high profile political prisoner in Bangladesh who genuinely needs treatment abroad.

This government must release all the political prisoners. They must be released without any condition. No release should be under disguise and condition of parole for foreign treatment. There should be a limit to deception.

And this blog post is not even discussing a more fundamental question of the moral right of our political/ administrative leaders foreign trips for every minor medical care while the rest of the country has to depend on local services for the same treatments.

The demolition of Rangs Bhaban was a symbolic equivalent of the 1/11 military government. Exactly as what was with Rangs Bhaban, i.e. spectacular demolition an imposing indestructible structure; this military government embarked on a similar larger scale project with whole of Bangladesh.

Rangs Bhaban demolition in 24 hours notice was termed as a symbolic victory over corruption. Look at this blog and read in the comment section how the early supporters of this military government drooled at this fiesta of destruction.

However, as warned by a few, the bulldozer revolution of 1/11 faltered all through its way. The military government came with promises of rooting out and cleansing the country of corruption. Well nearly one year later, corruption is as rampant as before and none of the so called corruption kings could be convicted in corruption charge. All the unbelievable number of jail years given to politicians are all income tax or firearms cases. Any of the members of the current government can easily be implicated in similar income tax or firearm crimes. Then the bulldozer revolution tried to beautify Dhaka by destroying slums, control the markets by sending soldiers to market places, and control politics by purchasing some collaborator politicians and editors. And fortunately for the people of Bangladesh, all these misadventures failed.

Rangs Bhaban ( although Governments’ collaborators initially tried to publicize that it was built on illegal land, court order confirms that it was not) was evacuated in 24 hours notice, hundreds of businesses got uprooted, and some RAJUK daily laborers broke the beautiful glass walls with big hammers.

Soon the bulldozer revolutionaries started grasping the magnitude of the job and their inability to finish the job they started. A company was allocated the demolition job ( Hint hint: Lt Geneal Hasan Masud). The nation was told that a demolition expert company would do that job with surgical precision.

Well several months later, we now hear that the job was taken by a company which had no idea of the enormity of the job. Only experience they had so far was demolition of two very old three story one unit flat building in Chittagong. And even that company did not keep the job to themselves. They charged the government 75 lac taka and subcontracted it to labor contractors for 25 lac taka, thus earning 50 lac taka by only being a collaborator.
And the result is very visible today.

driving-towards-rangs-bhaban-photo-dhaka.jpgrangs-bhaban.jpg

Look at the mess this government has put us into. This is what happens when the wrong people embark into a job which they do not know how to handle and which is not their job either.

Rangs Bhaban is precariously hanging in the air today. Partly collapsed, the rest of the huge structure may collapse any moment. Dead bodies are hanging from the rubbles. Per different newspaper reports, as many as 30 workers are still trapped under the towering rubbles. No rescue operation is being planned as the building is too difficult to approach.

In previous thread termed Rangs Rongo, many of the military government apologetics boasted that Rangs Bhaban was the symbol of this governments’ crusade against corruption. I agree with them. The current state of Rangs Bhaban is the symbol of this military government.

And most unfortunately, the victims of these misadventures are not us, nor our elite brethren in Bangladesh. The victims are the poor people in Bangladesh. The decision makers of Rangs demolition will roam around and chatter around happily, the conspirators, collaborators of 1/11 bulldozer revolution will keep enjoying the advisorial, editorial, ambassadorial perks, but the poor people of Bangladesh will keep hanging like that poor soul in the picture. Someone buried under Rangs rubbles, the rest of them buried under the soaring price of essential basic food items.

It’s a mess. A big big mess.

A lead newsitem following Mr. Wahidul Haq’s death was donation of his body for medical science. His body was handed over to BSMMU. In the past, several similar gestures and wishes could not be fulfilled due to family unwillingness as well as inaction of the authority citing lack of guideline and law. When Aroj ali Matubbor first donated his body for medical science, that created a huge backlash and controversy. Writer Humayun Azad’s wishes could not be fulfilled as apparently the family was not sure about it. In this context after death, Mt Wahidul Haq created another milestone in Bangladesh. He finally succeded in donating his body while all previous attempts failed.

With his donation Mr Wahidul Haq threw a challenge to the medical community of Bangladesh. Now it was the responsibility of the medical community to harvest all the organs and save multiple lives by transplanting them. I don’t know what exactly happeneded with his body, but I doubt his organs could have been harvested for proper transplantation. We simply do not have an efficient system in effect to harvest body organs and parts those can be life saving to others.

In this juncture I also take the opportunity to remember Dr Enamul Haq who first donated his cornea in Bangladesh. In a very humble move late Shahadat Chowdhury, ex editor of Bichitra and 2000, was the one who came forward to receive that cornea for his injured eye. Thanks to the way they showed, only organs that is regularly harvested in Bangladesh is the cornea (eye).

I hope, thanks to the way Mr Wahidul Haq showed just showed us, someday our poor healthy young man and women will no longer have to sell their organs. Posthumous donations will ensure enough organs for transplantation.

Related Blog is here.

A major disadvantage for them is that they work and live out of our views, even out of the radar screen of any dedicated NGO. Otherwise, like garments industry workers, ship breaking workers, the deep sea fisherman of Bangladesh are also vital to Bangladesh economy and with their blood and toil, Bangladesh earns millions of foreign currency every year.

These fishermen, while fishing with their self made trawlers, brave the rough seas at the largest and arguably the wildest delta of the world. They compete with the fishermen from neighboring countries who has modern sonar, radar, automated net and fishing gear equipped vessels and yet they come back home with catch enough to sustain the economy of the country.
Because they live in so remote coastal parts of Bangladesh, there is very limited knowledge about their life.

However, on a regular basis we read in newspapers about missing fishermen in the Bay of Bengal. This is almost a monthly event. We never know how many actually ever return. There is no registry for these people who are lost on a regular basis.

They have many problems, first being the danger of working in the rough seas with ill equipped boat without any navigational and rescue device.

Without navigation knowledge and equipment, very frequently they find themselves in foreign water and a large number of Bangladeshi fishermen are now in jail in countries like India, Myanmar, Thailand etc.

They don’t get adequate wages for their risky and very hard job. The fishermen can only keep 40% of the catch while 60% goes to the owner of the trawler. Yet, unlike garments workers, they have no association and their anger/sorrow is far removed from our policy makers to really make any law protecting their rights. Here is a picture of some fisherman who otherwise would be another 40 lost fishermen lost in the Bay of Bengal. But luckily they were rescued from yesterday’s storm.

In a blog titled ” What Khaleda Zia should tell India”, about six months ago, I wrote the following,

she should mention of a more serious threat, coming out of India through it’s border into Bangladesh.

She should remind India that rather than spending money in rocket, nuclear science, and not pretending to be world’s most advanced country, India should focus a bit more into some basic issues.

She shoukld tell that ..”Only 4 countries are still polio-endemic – : Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. ” This deadly polio virus is more dangerous than any possble terrorism.

Bangladesh is a succes story in immunization campaign agaist different deadly diseases. Polio was eradicated six years ago. But as India ( While focused on showcasing herself as world’s super power, did a poor job eradicating Polio; and this polio is spreading Back to Bangladesh.

Following this blog, I took a great deal of lashing as being an ultranationalist xenophobic, anti-India bigot, religious fanatic etc. However better late than never , World health Organization has finally came out with this statement yesterday, India actively ‘exporting’ polio to Bangladesh. I am not surprised at this statement. Considering the gravity of the situation, I knew it was coming.

Yesterday I wrote about Bangladesh being the Asian hub of MDR TB putting the whole region at great danger of having a MDR TB epidemic.

These are not issues of politics. These are matters of priority. While India is busy climbing up the stairs to become a superpower, they are forced to neglect in this basic sectors. At the same time, Bangladesh turned into a five year cycle of election-new government-political agitation-hartal-violence-lathicharge-caretaker govt.-new govt. Other than sporadic incidents, issues other than good old politics has been out of public’s mind.

We must set our priorities straight. We must tackle these looming public health calamities with all the resources we have. There is no alternative to political stability, national consensus, good governance and regional cooperation to achieve our goal. We can’t afford to fail in this endeavour.

Can there be any worse terrorist in the world than that kills one people every ten minutes?

***************************************************************************

*TB kills one every 10 minutes in Bangladesh

*A total of 70,000 TB infected persons die each year and 300,000 new TB cases are expected every year in Bangladesh. Globally, one third of the world population is already infected with TB, while more than 10 million develop TB each year.
60 percent of the TB cases are still undetected.

*Millions of children are contracting TB every year. Our physicians are not adequately trained in treating children with TB. There are no curricula and any concerted effort in launching a campaign for treating children with TB.

*There are estimated 3-4% multi drug resistant TB in Bangladesh. There are very few available medication for multi-drug resistant TB and these medicine are not produced in Bangladesh. And some of these imported medications are abused as they are being used for common cold or viral infections without any real need. As a result, resistance is developing against these antibiotics in Bangladesh.

*Multi drug resistant TB is a clear and present danger. If we can’t control it now, a perilous future awaits us in Bangladesh.

* Bangladesh faces the possibility of being a pariah country where foreigners will not visit. An epidemic of multi-drug resistant TB may even prompt all foreigners currently living in Bangladesh to leave this country. Foreign business, investment, manpower export, all will stop. If Bangladesh fail to contain multi-drug resistant TB it will poses a grave danger to the dense population in this subcontinent.
****************************************************************************
****************************************************************************

Bangladesh has many problems. Jamaat, Shibir and Bangla Bhai are few of such problems. But while we are focused on those problems, please, let’s not forget about the clear and present danger like multi-drug resistant TB in Bangladesh.

In the early days of current BNP government, in the pre-RAB era, a crime drive called “Operation Clean heart” was initiated by the government. However this operation clean heart was popularly called ‘operation heart attack’ as those who were killed in this operation were all declared dying of heart attack.

Similarly another heart attack death occured yesterday, involving, this time, a member of police. During picketer-police hustle, a brick hit the police constable, Narayan’s forehead and later he was declared dead at Heart foundation hospital.

And spin regarding this death started even before the death was declared. State Minister for home immediately ceased the opportunity of this killing to put the blame squarely on opposition leader Sheikh Hasina’s raucous remarks.

And a counter spin was staged by news outlets like Daily Star, Prothom -alo etc. Their stance is that it was right that Narayan got hit in the forehead but he also had a heart attack at the same time.

All the party involved quoted the physicians at heart foundation hospital at their own sweet will.

The home minister’s vile efforts to politicize the unfortunate death against political opponent must be condemned.

At the same time conscientious souls should also condemn the double standard of media outlets like Daily Star or Prothom-Alo. These outlets claim aristocracy by preaching against Hartals, at the same time when this unfortunate death’s happen, they can’t hide partisanship while trying to undermine another hartal casualty by promoting it as a mere heart attack death.


The Daily Star photo declaring the death as heart attack death.

And again this incidence exposes our non existent trauma system. At many as 20% of head injury/ intracranial bleed patients may have presentation similar to heart attack, abnormal ECG, abnormal blood test that are usually found in heart attack etc. These kind of patients need CT scan of the brain to rule out bleeding and if there is a bleed, evacuating it and decompressing the brain becomes an urgency. As far as I could dig out from different newspapers, heart foundation doctors, being trained only in heart problems, and lacking significant exposure to head injury patients, naturally inclined to treat heart problem, which they know how to treat. But they probably didn’t know that the apparent heart attack like presentation may be the result of bleeding in the brain.
For the sake of truth, the country should know the exact cause of the death. I hope autopsy will reveal the truth.

Lately when I visit Bangladesh , an increasing number of visitors come to greet me, known, fairly known, somewhat known, less known, hardly known or even unknown. They all have one thing common to them. They all carry a CD with them. A CD, very carefully cased, then wrapped in clothe, handled very respectfully and carefully, gets out of the hand bag or shirt pocket and unwrapped in shaky hands. Then the CD is handed over to me with a body language similar to when the British Monarch hands over the Victoria Cross to the recipient.

I can’t cite any data, because there are none. But recently, chest pain caused by coronary artery disease followed by coronary deaths have taken a epidemic proportion in Bangladesh. Every death news I get coming from bangladesh, a middle aged man, women, an elderly, or a young man; there is 90% possibility that the death was due to heart attack.

With rapidly developing cardiology service in Bangladesh, people with chest pain are now getting an angiogram to confirm some blocked coronaries. After the angiogram, these women/men, with the CD of the angiogram are left wth the decision on how to treat the blockage. Thus they start their journey to solve the unsolvable arithmetic.

They are often told, without giving any time to elaborate or Q &A, ” you have block, you need stents. If you put the regular stent this will cost you 1.5 lac, but if you put the medicated stent, it will cost you 4 lac taka”. In most cases I saw, they have no clue what a stent is, what is the benefit of a medicated vs a non-medicated one.

Most cases they have some money left in providence fund they thought of using for daughters marriage or sons foreign trip.

Now they start debating how to better use the money. Should they go to NICVD at Dhaka where it will cost less, or Heart foundation or other new hospitals in Dhaka, or go to India or Singapore.? They get a price quote for life from all these places. Medicated stent …Taka, non medicated stent…taka.

They keep on bracing the madness of Dhaka streets, in search of a solution to the riddle. Is it worthy paying 2 lac for a renewal of life, how to renew it, with medicated or nonmedicated stent? Where to go, NICVD, India? Or rather to save the money for daughetr’s wedding or son’s possible opportunity for a job in malaysia.

With pain in the chest and a CD in their hand, they keep calculating with a resolve to solve the unsolvable riddle.

A very different transition zone. The story of the journey of a heart from a donor to a recipient. Also the tumultuous emotional journey of the carier who wrote the story.
Read it here.

It’s like getting the opportunity to win a medal in the olympics or play in a winning team in the world cup soccer.

It is about publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine. Everybody, somehow involved in medical science have the same dream, the dream of publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine.

v2_title_large

The New England Journal of Medicine is worlds oldest ( established in 1812), largest and arguably, the best known medical journal. Every issue of NEJM, immediately after publication, gets intensely scanned by major news outlets like CNN, NY Times, Public radio, BBC, Reuter etc for the health news of the months.
While less than 1% all the academic physicians, scientist in USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Israel and other developed countries could fulfil the dream of publishing in NEJM, a bunch of Bangladeshi scientists, who live and work in Dhaka, did it last week. A landmark research was performed in ICDDR,B, Dhaka and the results were published in NEJM.

Single-Dose Azithromycin for the Treatment of Cholera in Adults

Debasish Saha, M.B., B.S., Mohammad M. Karim, M.B., B.S., Wasif A. Khan, M.B., B.S., Sabeena Ahmed, M.Sc., Mohammed A. Salam, M.B., B.S., and Michael L. Bennish, M.D.
From the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh (D.S., M.M.K., W.A.K., S.A., M.A.S.); the School of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (M.L.B.); and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom (M.L.B.).

If you are in search of some Bangladeshi heros, here are some. May be our Bangladeshi media don’t even know what is NEJM, and what a real landmark research mean, these people are the one who Bangladesh people should celebrate, not the Brazilian or Argentine soccer players.

The sound of my pager breaks the silence. A text message flashes in my pager. . “Mr XX is now a donor”. An attempt by the resident doctor to keep me informed of my patients. This text seems apparently meaningless to anybody, but these words potentially carries a meaningful life for half a dozen souls.

A little background. Mr XX was in the neuro intensive care unit after a highspeed motor vehicle crash. His brain injury was increasingly too impossible for us to take care of, the hope of a recovery was fading rapidly. In the morning I had a long conversation with the family, the parents, the siblings. The family was in agreement, if there is no hope, the doctors can harvest the organs of Mr XX to be used to save the lives of others.

Now, as soon as Mr XX was declared brain dead, his status changed from being a patient to a DONOR.

An extremely organized donor agency then takes over the body. They work with supercomputer precision, speed. They keeps the body viable for better donation, do all the screening tests, extensive computerized database starts searching for possible recipients, arrange organ harvest and transplantation. All happens within hours. Organs are flown from coast to coast within minutes notice to the matched recipient.

A bunch of people receives their most awaited telephone call ever.
” Linda/John/Betty/Steve….your lung, heart, kidney, liver… is ready. Let’s get ready for operation within the next hour”.

Someone in california gets a much needed lung , heart goes to connecticut to renew a young girls life, the liver emergently flies to Nebraska to save a life. So are all other organs.

Each day, in USA, about 74 people receive organ transplants. However, 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs.

Between January to March of 2006, total 5207 organs were donated from deceased donors and 1,705 organs were donated by living relative donors.

USA, like any other developed first world ountries, only allows living relative donor of certain organs and cadeveric donors. NO PURCHASE OR SALE OF ANY ORGAN IS ALLOWED.

All of those 1705 living donations in 3 months between January 06 to March 06, came form family members, may be the loving sister, may be brother, may be the child or may be one of the parents.

This is the scenerio of this side of the world, The USA.

Now let’s see what happens on the other side of the world, in Bangladesh, our land of birth. We claim we have much better family values than the west.

****************************************************************************

1. My friend calls from Madras, India and informs me that his elderly mother in law has just passed away. She received a kidney transplantation last week and has been critically sick since then. The young girl, the kidney donor, who was selected from a group of dozens of interested matched kidney seller, was doing fine.

2. Not too long ago I received a chain mail requesting financial donation for a BUET student, the mail was,

Our BUET friend XXXXX who lives in Ottawa, Canada lost both of his kidneys about two years ago. He is doing dialysis three times a week. There is a long waiting list(10 to 15 years waiting) in Canada for kidney transplantion since people here do not sell organs. He found somebody in Bangladesh who is willing to sell one of his kidneys. He needs to go to Madras with that person to do the transplantion. The whole process including recovery and rest will probably take three months and will cost around US$25,000. He does not have that much money

.

I replied,the BUET student can live a meaningful functional life thanks to hemodialysis and Canadian healthcare system. But if I have to donate money, I’ll donate to that seller who is compelled to sell an organ out of poverty. And canadians donate their oragns for their family. Why can’t we?

3. If you happen to travel to Madras hospital district, you will face these repeating obscene events. Dozens of elderly out of shape man and woman, accompanied by equal number of young healthy people. The poor youth will sell their kidney and the older rich will buy it. One’s goal is freedom from disease and the others is freedom from poverty.

4. Most of us are not ready to donate part of our body for the loved one, we would rather buy a kidney from some else’s son, daughter, brother or sister.

***************************************************************************************************

We probably won’t be able to stop organ trade. But Why?

Is this what we call world’s best family value?

At least shouldn’t we stop a 19 yearol poor selling kidney to a 80 year old rich? Shouldn’t we set up an age barrier?

At least shouldn’t we warrant life long treatment expenses of seller by the buyers family? Shouldn’t there be a legal umbrella?

Who, we will address our concern to?

Anyway, who deals with organ trading in Bangladesh? Is it the ministry of commerce? Or the ministry of health?

They are on strike again. Last month it was in Chittagong, this time the intern doctors of Sir Salimullah medical College Hospital, Dhaka has gone into wildcat strike imposing a reign of terror in the hospital. They refrained from serving poor and very sick patients, shut down the hospital forcibly by padlocking all the ward gates, vandalized different nursing stations to scare off the patients etc.

2006-04-09__front02

What they call demands and I call ” Blackmailing” the dependence of poor people oo public medical college hospitals, are raise in salary and reluctance to vacate nine rooms required for constructing a new dorm.

2006-04-07__back02

In todays newspaper report, the agitating doctors later forced out the patients and on-duty doctors at the outdoor section in the adjacent building and locked the section.

2006-06-04__back02

Similar strikes paralzed Chittagong medical College Hospital last month.

These strikes have become a fashion of the trainee physicians over the last couple of decades. If some graduating class does not organize a violent strike, they are deemed too girly a batch in the eys of their counter parts in different other medical colleges.

While resorting to this insane means of prank, anarchy, these new medicos forget the responsibility being bestowed upon them by the society. They also forget the contribution of these poor souls on their education. They also forget that they pay only 9 taka a year i.e. total of 45 taka ( 60 cents) in five years for their heavily subsidized medical diploma where a student in USA pays a hefty some of $120,000 from thier on pocket for the same diploma.

pic1_341

This is not the only anarchy the medical students/medical graduates do annually. Another trend among these fortunate class is to take the exam at their own collective will. They will never take the test as mandated by the college authorities or by the course curriculum. They will boycott exam, keep on postponing it, resulting in long session jams in medical colleges.

Father of medicine Hippocrates will turn in his grave if he is unfortunate enough to see his 21st century disciples have moved that far away from his oath.

Our sick President was flown to Singapore for further treatment. One news told he was in coma, one news told he had chest pain. But there has been no clear press briefing from a medical person about the real conditions.

Last week Shafiur mentioned leader Saifuddin Ahmed manik was also in Singapore for treatemnt.

What a testimony to our healthcare system! Even our head of the state don’t have the trust in our healthcare systemhas and travel to foreign land for for an emergency critical treatment.

Our prime minister goes to Saudi Arabia for her knee treatment.

Our opposition leader goes to Singapore for treatment of her ear injury.

And every hour, hundreds of thousands of people die in Bangladesh with diseases which were easily preventable.

Recently I wrote a post about the remedy of our politicians power lust.

One remedy was to bar government leadership and politicians, law makers from going abroad for treatment.

That will help im multiprong way.

1. One our leadership will be sincere in cleaning the mess in healthcare sector in Bangladesh.
2. Leadership positions hopefully will be less tempting
3. According to good old friend rafiq ahmed, it will help in this way, ” Actually another net benefit of barring medical treatment abroad, or forcing treatment at home, is to allow government officials to die natural deaths, therby cleansing the system a little at a time. I like this one.”.

They are up for finding a killer of Nasreen Haq. The driver ‘beta’ must be the crook, so remand him, beat him up ad nauseam until he say, “OK Ok I did it, now please stop the torture.”

And while we wait for him to “confess”, we miss or we forget about the real killer, the real criminal. That is our non existent trauma system.

Nasreen died of a low speed car impact on her thigh. Her femoral artery was injured. People don’t die of this injury. How can I make it more dramatic, what a shame it is on our healthcare system! Even someone of that VIP status, in the heart of Dhaka, with that quick transport to hospital can’t expect to live after this moderate limb injury. Then what we have left of trauma system in Bangladesh?

And we talk of being well prepared for bird flu. Huh!

Mr SAMS Kibria died of minor splinter injury in his leg too.

A roadside high school graduate paramedic in USA is capable of handling the injuries that killed Nasreen or Kibria. And we? We keep sending the patients from here to there. Nobody has the slightest sense of urgency in emergency management. What a shame! What a shame!! Oh our great doctors!!!!!

When 21st august bomb injures Ivy Rahman and others, we only had rickshaw vans moving crumbled bodies.

We must use the most advanced cell phone Motorola V RAZR, we drive Lexus and Hummer, we are active bloggers, not lacking behind in any other sector, but are still in Rickshaw van age in dealing with our sick. We don’t have a national ambulance system.

With our ever unsafe roads and highways, unruly rampant drivers, lack of law enforcement, blatant disregard for life, nobody in the country is immune form a traffic accident injury.

You are rich, powerful, you go to Singapore, Bangkok, India for tooth extraction, stomach aches, but what will you do if your car got hit by a bus near Feni on Dhaka Chittagong highway? You need a timely intervention to be able to see the sunrise of the following day. You, then, don’t have the time to fly to Bangkok or even go to Apollo.

I am happy to see that our country is adequately concerned about the threats of bird flu and government and nongovernmental sectors are joining hands in at least pretending to be prepared for bird flu.
Definitely Bird flu is the smart thing to talk about now a day. All of the developed world is drenched in bird flu horror paranoia. People of all sort of life are waiting in deep fear, when the bad guy called h5N1 will go through the necessary genetic shifting and drifting to be able to attack mankind.
Apparently this Asian bird flu virus and the fear is being spread for at least 8-10 years. Here is 1998 Time magazine cover story picture on bird flu.

flu_hunter's

If you ask me, I am not so sure about the potential of bird flu to be the next big catastrophe. As you just saw the 1998 Time cover picture, the bird flu virus and the associated fear is wandering around for quite a long time. What happened? Isn’t 10 year enough long a window to complete the cycle?

Per May 8 estimate by WHO, so far there are 115 confirmed worldwide casualty of bird flu. Yes that is worldwide.

And do you know how many people die each year in USA alone by flu, not by bird flu, but the Human influenza, the real flu? In USA alone, in conservative estimate, about 36,000 people die each year of flu, the human flu. And this number is 36,000 after USA being the country which has the most elaborate, effective and extensive annual flu vaccination program and most advanced critical care system in the world. The annual human influenza epidemics are thought to result in between three and five million cases of severe illness and between 250 000 and 500 000 deaths every year around the world..

And Bangladesh!!! Nobody knows how many hundreds of thousands of children, elderly, adult die of flu related complication each year. Who cares? This is not bird flu! While flu shot supply crisis may cause a government to fall in USA, Bangladesh does not have any clue of the Influenza vaccination thing. Even the elderly or the sick won’t be able to get the life saving vaccine.

Will it be an attack against humanity if I ask the government and non government agencies to divert some of their attention on bird flu to help develop some human flu vaccine , at least for the sick?