Advocating for Patients in Resource-Limited Settings: Addressing Challenges in Third-World Countries

Helping patients and speaking up for them is really important when dealing with cancer, especially in countries that may not have a lot of resources, good infrastructure, or fair opportunities for everyone. Here are a few reasons that show why patient advocacy is crucial when it comes to managing cancer in these situations:

1. Getting Information:

People who support patients (patient advocates) can help share important information. They tell patients and their families about how to prevent cancer, find it early, and what treatments and support services are available. In some poorer countries, not many people know about cancer and how to deal with it. That’s why it’s so important for advocates to spread the word and give out information.

2. Getting Through Healthcare Systems:

In some poorer countries, healthcare systems may be confusing, with not enough access to specialized care and lots of bureaucratic challenges. Patient advocates can help navigate these difficulties, making it easier for patients to get the right medical care, attend follow-up appointments, and use support services.

3. Dealing with Shame:

Some communities may feel ashamed about cancer. People who support patients (patient advocates) are important in talking about and lessening this shame. They encourage open conversations and create a supportive space for patients and their families.

4. Making Patients Stronger:

Patient advocacy helps patients take an active role in deciding how they want to be treated. In places where healthcare is more top-down or like a parent telling you what to do, patient advocacy helps people speak up about what they want. This makes sure patients get care that is all about them and what they need.

5. Getting Resources:

When people speak up for something (advocacy), it can help gather resources for preventing, checking, and treating cancer. By making more people aware and talking to decision-makers, those who support patients can ask for more money, better facilities, and healthcare professionals who know a lot.

6. Lessening Health Differences:

People who support patients (patient advocates) can help make sure everyone gets the same good care for cancer. They speak up for equal access to quality healthcare, no matter how much money someone has, where they’re from, or their background. This is really important for making sure everyone has a fair chance at good health.

7. Spreading the Word:

When people speak up for something (advocacy), it helps others learn more about cancer, what can make it happen, and why finding it early is crucial. This can make everyone more proactive about taking care of their health and can improve how cancer is dealt with.

To sum up, helping and speaking up for patients is really important when dealing with cancer in poorer countries. It does many things like making more people aware, improving access to care, support systems, and decisions made by leaders. All of this together makes things better for people dealing with cancer.


Dr. Arman Reza Chowdhury

Cancer Specialist

Consultant, Radiation Oncology

Evercare Hospital Dhaka

Women and Heart Disease: The Power of Early Detection and Prevention

Women Heart Disease Centre at evercare hospital dhaka

Heart disease has long been associated with men, but the truth is that it affects women just as profoundly. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide.

However, women often experience different symptoms and risk factors compared to men. This blog post aims to shed light on the unique aspects of heart disease in women, emphasizing the importance of early detection and prevention.

Understanding the Gender Difference

Heart disease manifests differently in women than in men, making it crucial to recognize the unique symptoms.

While men often present with the classic symptoms like chest pain or discomfort, women are more likely to experience subtler signs such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, jaw pain, and back pain. These differences can lead to under diagnosis and delayed treatment for women.

Risk Factors for Women

Several risk factors increase a woman’s likelihood of developing heart disease. These include:

Hormones: Estrogen offers some protective effects on the cardiovascular system, but this advantage diminishes after menopause, increasing the risk for women.

Age: The risk of heart disease increases with age, and women over 55 are more susceptible.

Family History: A family history of heart disease can significantly elevate a woman’s risk.

Smoking: Smoking is a strong risk factor for heart disease, and women who smoke are at a higher risk.

High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels contribute to heart disease risk.

Diabetes: Women with diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease compared to men with diabetes.

Physical Inactivity: Lack of regular exercise can contribute to heart disease risk factors.

Early Detection: The Key to Prevention

Know the Symptoms: Being aware of both classic and atypical symptoms of heart disease is crucial. Women should not dismiss any unusual symptoms and seek medical attention if they experience discomfort or distress.

Regular Health Check-ups: Routine check-ups allow healthcare professionals to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other risk factors. Early detection can lead to timely interventions.

Understanding Family History: Knowing the family’s medical history helps women understand their risk profile and take proactive measures.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Management: Managing blood pressure and cholesterol through lifestyle changes, medication, or a combination of both can significantly reduce heart disease risk.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices: A balanced diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and avoiding smoking are all integral to heart health.

Prevention Strategies

Heart-Healthy Diet: Emphasize whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Limit saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.

Physical Activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.

Stress Management: Engage in relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to manage stress effectively.

Avoid Smoking: Quitting smoking is one of the most significant steps to reduce heart disease risk.

Medication and Treatment: Follow prescribed medication regimens and treatment plans diligently if you have underlying conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

Women and heart disease are not mutually exclusive. Understanding the gender-specific symptoms and risk factors is essential for early detection and prevention.

By being proactive about heart health through regular check-ups, healthy lifestyle choices, and risk factor management, women can significantly lower their risk of heart disease and live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

It’s time to prioritize heart health and empower women to take charge of their well-being.



Dr. AQM Reza

Senior Consultant & Coordinator

Clinical & Interventional Cardiology

Evercare Hospital Dhaka

Protecting Children’s Health in Extreme Weather: Strategies for Pediatricians

Protecting Children's Health in Extreme Weather

Pediatricians’ Role in Protecting Children’s Health in Extreme Weather

Bangladesh, a country prone to extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones, and heatwaves and faces significant challenges when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of its vulnerable population, particularly children. As frontline healthcare providers, pediatricians play a crucial role in developing strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of extreme weather on children’s health.

This opinion piece explores some key strategies that pediatricians in Bangladesh can adopt to safeguard the health of children in the face of these climatic challenges.

Pediatricians can act as advocates for public awareness campaigns on the impacts of extreme weather on children’s health. By collaborating with local authorities, community leaders, and media outlets, they can disseminate crucial information about the specific risks children face during floods, cyclones, and heatwaves.

They can educate parents, caregivers, and school staff about the necessary precautions, early warning signs, and emergency preparedness measures which is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of children.

Enhancing Pediatric Healthcare in Vulnerable Regions

Pediatricians should work closely with policymakers and healthcare administrators to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure in vulnerable regions. This includes ensuring the availability of well-equipped pediatric wards in hospitals, establishing telemedicine facilities to provide remote consultations during emergencies, and enhancing the capacity of healthcare workers to address weather-related health issues. Collaborating with international organizations and NGOs, can help and secure necessary resources and expertise.

Heatwaves and Children’s Health

Heatwaves pose a significant threat to children’s health, leading to dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Pediatricians can contribute to the development of heatwave action plans at national and local levels. These plans should include guidelines for early identification of heat-related illnesses, strategies for reducing exposure to extreme heat, provision of adequate hydration, and instructions on recognizing and responding to heat emergencies.

They can be get involved in school and community-based interventions, such as adjusting school hours and providing cool shelters.

Moreover, pediatricians can also advocate the construction and retrofitting of climate-resilient infrastructure, such as flood-resistant hospitals, schools, and community centers. By collaborating with urban planners and architects, pediatricians can ensure that these structures are designed to withstand extreme weather events and equipped with the necessary facilities to address children’s health needs during emergencies.

Additionally, they can support and help initiatives to improve water and sanitation systems to prevent waterborne diseases, particularly after flooding.

Pediatricians as Leaders in the Fight Against Climate Change

Additionally, pediatricians should actively engage in research efforts to better understand the long-term impacts of extreme weather on children’s health. This includes monitoring and documenting the prevalence of weather-related illnesses, studying the effectiveness of interventions, and identifying emerging health risks associated with climate change. By generating evidence-based data, pediatricians can contribute to the development of targeted interventions and policies that prioritize children’s health.

Afterall, protecting the health of children in Bangladesh’s extreme weather conditions requires proactive measures and collaboration among pediatricians, policymakers, communities, and international partners.

By raising public awareness, strengthening healthcare infrastructure, developing action plans, promoting climate-resilient infrastructure, and conducting research, pediatricians can play a pivotal role in minimizing the adverse impacts of extreme weather events on children. Their dedication and expertise are vital in building a more resilient healthcare system that safeguards the well-being of Bangladesh’s youngest and most vulnerable population.



Dr. Sabina Sultana

Senior Consultant – Paediatrics & Neonatology

Coordinator- Paediatrics

Evercare Hospital Dhaka