Assignment 2: Lending Institutions, Health Care, and Human Capital
Professor John R. Cronin
SOC 300 - Sociology of Developing Countries
March 8, 2015
From a perilous beginning, Bangladesh has attained notable advancements in economic and social development in about four decades. Since it won its independent in 1971 following a bloody war, many, in the international community were doubtful about the country’s long-term economic sustainability. Some observers predicted a state of continuing aid dependency, while others believed if a country with such enormous and innumerable development problems as Bangladesh could make strides in development, then possibly other developing countries could as well.
In spite of the cynics’ dire predictions and the widely shared unenthusiastic viewpoint, Bangladesh has made momentous economic and social strides in the past few decades. Bangladesh is no longer considered a loss cause. According to The World Factbook, Bangladesh has the 9th largest population in the world. Nonetheless, the country has achieved a measure of food self-sufficiency. Not only has economic growth picked up, but it has been less unpredictable and more stable, compared to a lot of other countries in Asia. According to BBS Director General Golam Mostafa Kamal as of May 2014, Bangladesh per capita income has risen to $1,190, which brings the country up to middle-income status. Bangladesh has a very young population, almost 40% of its population is under the age of 14. Its overall literacy rate has almost doubled in the past 30 years or so, from 29.2% in 1981 to 56.7% in 2010. And for both male and females 15-24 the literacy rate is much higher. So, to say that Bangladesh has made incredible strides and progress is pretty safe to say. According to the World Bank Organization Bangladesh’s fertility rate has gone down from 7 children per woman in 1971 to 2.2 births per woman in 2012. Bangladesh has also reduced its population growth rate by more than a percentage point over the past 35 years. (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics 2012). Bangladesh has also made considerable improvements in other areas as well, such as the infant mortality and life expectancy rate. Bangladesh has made considerable improvements over the years.
While the majority of the population of Bangladesh live in rural areas, the majority of health professionals live in urban areas. However, there have been great strides made to remedy this dilemma. Bangladesh has managed to develop nationwide network of medical facilities, colleges, and institutions. According to the World Health Organization, Bangladesh has constructed almost 60 Medical colleges (The majority of them private), 13 nursing colleges (majority private), 69 nursing institute (22 of them are private), 17 medical assistant training schools (10 of them are private), and 16 institute of health technology (13 of them are private). In spite of this growth to health workforce production, the country is still having health workforce shortage and geographical imbalances. The World Health Report 2006 identified Bangladesh among 57 countries with a serious shortage of doctors, paramedics, nurses and midwives (World Health Organization). A healthy population is not only vital but also a necessity for a country’s economic growth and development. There is an inherently strong connection between the health status of the population and the level of development of a country. Most countries that are exceptionally developed have an overwhelmingly healthy population, however most developing nation have an overwhelmingly unhealthy population. In most developing countries, including Bangladesh, keeping the female population healthy is key to food security. Food security exists when all people at all times have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet their nutritional needs for a productive and healthy life. A...
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