In July 2020, Bangladesh experienced the country’s worst flood disaster in a decade. The monsoon floods devastated Bangladesh’s Northern, North-Eastern, and South-Eastern regions. According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, over 4 million people were affected, including 1.3 million children. The floods destroyed more than 41,000 hectares of cropland, and at least 100 people have lost their lives.
The affected areas had not recovered from Cyclone Amphan, which caused widespread devastation two months earlier, and another wave of COVID-19 worsened the situation. For the affected communities, it was tough to maintain social distancing and personal hygiene while many of them were homeless. They could barely able to cope with the economic and livelihood impact of these disasters.
Give2Asia launched a campaign just days after receiving damage reports and response appeals from local partners. The campaign aimed to provide timely and effective support during the response and recovery period. It addressed immediate needs, such as:
- providing food, water, and emergency shelter for displaced residents
- providing house repair and housing support; protecting displaced women, girls, and children
- providing hygiene kits;
- providing livelihood support due to inundation of standing crops and destroyed aquaculture
- providing emergency repair and replacement of latrines and tube wells
- desalinizing open water sources.
The funds raised, combined with campaign results from the Cyclone Amphan disaster fund, were able to support one of Give2Asia’s Friends Fund partners, Spreeha Bangladesh, working on post-flood recovery.
Spreeha Bangladesh Foundation is a social enterprise that aims to enable individuals and communities to rise above social barriers. Spreeha provides essential healthcare services, such as access to physicians, medicine, and pregnancy care services, to underserved communities. One of its programs is Sneho Urgent Health Care, which has healthcare centers that has served 200,000 people, including 5,000 women during and after their pregnancies. Spreeha also provides telehealth services to underserved patients in remote areas through its Sneho Mobile Health Service.
Emergency Mobile Health Care to underserved communities
Spreeha’s telehealth services helped the people from Shyamnagar Upazilla in Satkhira, one of the worst-affected places in Bangladesh, to get primary healthcare. A remote doctor chamber (RDC) was established in a dedicated space within the community for teleconsultation. It was managed by a community-based trained health worker.
An RDC had digital technology and internet connection to connect patients and physicians through a video or audio call. The patient received an e-prescription from the physicians after each consultation. After visiting the RDC, community health workers provided primary healthcare services, such as first aid, basic medicines, screening tests (e.g. blood sugar tests), nebulization, blood pressure measurement, and weight measurement. For those who cannot travel to an RDC, the community health workers provided door-to-door healthcare services to connect the patients with the physician in the comfort of their homes.
The program has directly provided primary healthcare to 834 people (216 men, 618 women) who were significantly affected by Cyclone Amphan and the COVID pandemic.
Bangladesh remains prone to floods due to climate change
Bangladesh’s southern areas are one of the most vulnerable regions in the country. Located in Khulna Division and as the largest mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans get typhoons and heavy floods, especially during the monsoon season from May to October. Give2Asia’s disaster response partners in Bangladesh, such as Spreeha Bangladesh Foundation, An Organisation for Socio-Economic Development, Bangladesh Environment and Development Society, and National Alliance of Humanitarian Actors Bangladesh (via Dhaka Ahsanian Mission), support disaster relief and recovery in this area. They are also continuously working to increase communities’ disaster preparedness capacities. This is a long-term effort, especially with the increasing need due to the worsening impact of climate change that directly affects the communities.
Give2Asia works to increase the capacity of local community-based organizations across Asia to prepare for disasters and build sustainable programming to address long-term climate challenges. We work with countries that are highly vulnerable to disasters to fund innovative programming at the community level. You can donate to the Give2Asia Preparedness Fund to support partners in their disaster preparedness efforts.