Poverty and health policies: Listening to the poor in Bangladesh
Medical anthropologist Sabina Faiz Rashid, The Daily Star Bangladesh
The assumption often among policymakers is that mere provision of health services and better choices will improve health of the poor. Universal education in public health and biology and the availability of Western medical care are seen as preferred forms of intervention to improve the health situation of the country. However, throughout my fieldwork, I was confronted by overwhelming structural and social inequalities which have led to high unemployment, crime, widespread substance abuse and the breakdown of family networks and marital relations in slums.
For the poor, health cannot be separated from social and political -- economic conditions of everyday life. If we truly want to see improvements in the health of poor women and men in Bangladesh, we need a more radical and broader based approach to health, where social and economic justice need to be an integral part of medicine and public health interventions. >> continue