Treating Bangladesh's Arsenic Epidemic

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 Treating Bangladesh

Crossing Barriers for Bangladeshis

Overview of the Arsenic Epidemic:

1970s
- The Bangladesh Government receives funding to drill millions of shallow tube wells in villages to supply clean drinking water to the people.

1990s – It is discovered that the water from these wells contain dangerously high levels of naturally-occurring arsenic.
 
1999 - Women’s co-operative groups in partnership with another SIM Bangladesh project requested that SIM test their drinking wells for arsenic. Significant contamination of drinking water confirmed.
 
2002 - SIM responds by starting the Arsenic Poisoning Prevention Program (APPP). The project’s focus is on awareness raising, water testing, filter distribution and patient care.
 
2017 - The project is now in its fifteenth year of operation and continues to work toward the prevention of arsenic poisoning and the treatment of those with arseniocosis.
 

Hope for the Khan Family  
Mr and Mrs Khan live in a rural Bangladeshi village with their four sons and two daughters. Mr Khan is a poor farmer who grows onions and jute on his land. His three oldest sons help him on the family farm. For his whole life, Mr Khan had been accessing water from a neighbours well. Only four years ago was he finally able to pay roughly $100 US dollars to sink his own well near his house. Unfortunately, The Khan’s village is a hotbed for arsenic contamination.

SIM Aresenic Program first stared work in the Khan’s village in 2009 and held its first arsenicosis screening clinic there in February, 2012. Mr Khan and his family attended a screening clinic in March 2015 where he, his wife and two of their sons were diagnosed with stage 1 arsenicosis. The following month they were able to purchase an arsenic removal filter from the program.

To date, the SIM Arsenic Program has installed 39 filters in the homes of the Khan family’s village. Around 50 village members have also been able been able to benefit from the patient treatment program.
 

Help people like the Khans to receive the treatment they so desperately need but can't afford or access. Your tax deductible gift of a $46 'Medicine and Treatment' Heaven Sent Gift Card will help transform lives through the Arsenic Awareness & Alleviation Project in Bangladesh.

Alternatively, you can give a different amount to SIM's Community Transformation Fund here.

 

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