Recurrence of waterborne diseases has reduced almost to zero level in rural areas of Rangpur division following successful implementation of various programmes by the government in the last 13 years. Massive awareness raising and other activities conducted by the government have improved health, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition conditions of rural people who are also using sanitary latrines and drinking pure water to achieve the success.
"As a result of growing public awareness about waterborne diseases, recurrence of diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, hookworm and ringworm in rural areas has reduced to zero level," said Acting Divisional Director (Health) Dr Habibur Rahman.
At the same time, the infant, child and maternal mortality rates have reduced to the zero level in rural areas, including riverine char areas, of Rangpur division over the past 13 years during the tenure of the Awami League-led government.
"The government and non-government health officials and workers, Community Clinics and Union Health Sub-Centres are playing the key roles along with the efforts and collaboration of other development organisations, NGOs, WHO and UNICEF," he said.
Dr Fazlul Haque, former community medicine specialist of Rangpur Medical College, said rural people are now much aware of health, hygiene, sanitation, personal hygiene, safe drinking water and they use sanitary latrineseverywhere.
Former Assistant Professor of Rangpur Medical College Dr Hamidul Islam said waterborne disease-related child and maternal mortalities has already touched zero level following vital roles being played by Community Clinics at grassroots levels.
"However, a very few incidents of waterborne diseases are being noticed following consumption of rotten, old and unhygienic foodstuffs from a section of roadside hotels, restaurants and open tea stalls," Dr Islam added. Chairman of Chandanpat union under Rangpur Sadar upazila Amenur Rahman said the number of waterborne disease-related child and maternal deaths has already reduced to zero level in his union where the number was alarming even one and half decades ago.
"The union is now free from waterborne diseases and the success has been achieved following hectic government and NGO efforts in motivating the rural people for better life with the help of field level health workers and community leaders," he added. Chairman of Rangpur-based research organisation 'Northbengal Institute of Development Studies' Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said occurrence of waterborne diseases has reduced almost to the zero level everywhere in the division including char areas. The success has been achieved following successful awareness raising activities conducted through GO-NGO collaboration as a part of massive steps taken by the government to ensure hygienic sanitation and safe drinking water facilities for all. "Waterborne diseases have disappeared improving health and hygienic indexes of rural people as the country is moving ahead as a developing nation on the way to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and become a developed country by the year 2041 next," he added.
Housewives Joytsna Rani and Bharoti Rani of remote Gangadas Baraipara village, Kakoli and Sumaiya Begum of Najirdigar village in Rangpur Sadar upazila said waterborne diseases disappeared since they started using sanitary latrines and drinking pure water.