NewsA research on meningitis
For our minor International Health and Development, which we (Janine van der Meij, Derek Mersch and Stefanie Strasters) followed at Leiden University of applied sciences in the Netherlands, we went to Bangladesh to do a research on meningitis for Niketan.
The research we conducted focused on the differences in risk factors of meningitis in Daulatpur compared to Ghior and Shivalaya. After a difficult start, we are now very pleased that we have finally been able to do a good research. For the research, we conducted interviews with families, doctors and employees of Niketan. During the interview an interpreter was present to help us. We have visited several families and hospitals for interviewing. This was a very nice way, to see more of Bangladesh. When we finished conducting all the interviews, we spent long days on the porch at the care farm. This sounds more serious than it was. We had great entertainment here with the beautiful view we had and the nice temperature.
After analyzing the interviews we finally came to the conclusion that there are certainly differences in risk factors in contracting meningitis in Daulatpur compared to Ghior and Shivalaya. The risk factors were mainly in the factors of knowledge about meningitis, hygiene, economic status, environmental conditions and health care. During our stay in Bangladesh we stayed at Afroza’s place. The people here made our stay lovely. It was wonderful to see the disabled boys forming a family with the hostesses, farmers and their son. It was also very nice to see that they involved us in this family. Soon we realized that these were not the only lovely people in Bangladesh. When we walked on the streets we got a lot of attention through our white skin and blonde hair and everyone was able to help us. Of course in the beginning we were not used to it, but in the end it was all well-meant. We were also amazed about the fact that wherever you went in Bangladesh, it was the same everywhere. We have visited several places in Bangladesh but still we saw everywhere the same corrugated iron houses, the same supermarket stalls and the many garbage on the street. It was also sometimes very sad to see how much poverty we still encountered here.
Fortunately, we have been able to do something for a number of families. With a donation campaign, we have been able to delight various families with medicines and standing chairs. All in all it was a great experience. We will never forget this trip with all the things we have seen and done. Of course, we would thank Niketan very much for making the research possible and the great time in Bangladesh!