Health Impacts of Disaster

Case study of Bangladesh’s Cyclone Sidr


  • Rajeeb Kumar Sarkar Deputy Secretary,Mymensingh city corporation


In recent years Bangladesh has made significant progress in disaster management. This article examines the
health impacts of disaster in the context of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh. Due to its geographical location,
topography, high population density and poverty Bangladesh is considered to be highly vulnerable to natural
disasters in the world. The coastal part of the country is the most vulnerable and the southwestern part of the
coastal area is identified as environmentally handicapped by natural disasters. Natural disasters pose a threat to
the very existence of people’s lives and livelihood in Bangladesh. There are direct health effects through various
vector and waterborne diseases, but arguably more important indirect effects as well. So far, little is known
about natural disasters and their impact on human health in Bangladesh. This study is based on the cyclone Sidr
that hit Bangladesh in November 2007. This article aims to assess the impact of natural disaster on the health
of the coastal population of Bangladesh. This article concludes that natural disasters largely affect human health
in Bangladesh. Natural disasters are affecting the general and mental health of the population of the affected
areas. Prevalence of diarrhoea, skin diseases, and other infectious diseases has increased after the cyclones. This
article emphasizes on the importance of a wellplanned preparedness program to address the challenges of
natural disasters. The experience of Sidr demonstrates the visible action of Bangladesh government to mitigate
the risks of health. However significant changes in the national and international level are required to reduce
health risks caused by natural disasters.