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18 Apr 2022

New Age

Bangladesh: Survey finds 56% of Rana Plaza survivors' physical health condition worsened, nine years after the collapse

"56pc Rana Plaza survivors’ health condition worsens: study", 18 April 2022

The physical health condition of around 56.5 per cent of the victims of Rana Plaza collapse worsened even after nine years of the incident, according to a study.

The Action Aid revealed its findings gathered through a survey conducted among 200 survivors ahead of the 9th year of Rana Plaza tragedy....

In the survey, 56.5 per cent reported waist pain, headache, pain in hand and leg, and back pain as some of the major problems.

The trend of previous surveys shows that the physical health status of the survivors was slowly improving but their suffering got worse due to Covid-19.

It is also revealed that the health condition of 33 per cent of them is more or less stable which was 58.5 per cent in the past year, and 10.5 per cent are completely stable which was 27.5 per cent in the past year.

In terms of psychosocial health, 48.5 per cent are still in trauma in comparison with 12.5 per cent survivors of the past year.

Currently 31 percent reported that they are more or less stable, and 20.5 per cent have recovered fully compared with the 25.5 per cent of the past year. 

Survivors’ mental health recovery is deteriorating drastically during the pandemic period.

The current unemployment rate of the survivors is 53 per cent while 47 per cent survivors are engaged in various types of wage work and self-employment.

Among the unemployed, 67 per cent cannot work due to their bad physical condition and 10 per cent have mental trauma.

Survivors tend to change work frequently as their physical conditions do not allow them to work for long-periods at a time.

According to the survey, 14.5 per cent survivors have returned to garments with another 8 per cent involved in tailoring while many of the survivors shifted to other professions like domestic work, day labour, farming, and agriculture, sales and driving.

The surveys found that the income of most of the employed survivors have drastically decreased due the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 63.5 per cent of survivors said they had difficulty to buy food for their family every day during pandemic because they did not have the money to buy food.

Some 51.5 per cent said they couldn’t pay their rent, and 22.5 per cent said they couldn’t afford childcare.

A total of 46.5 per cent of survivors had to take out a loan to manage food for their families and other belongings during the pandemic.

A total of 36 per cent said that their household income is less than Tk 5,000 while 34 per cent have a household income between Tk 10,000 and Tk 15,000.

Around 35 per cent of survivors reported that their expenditure is over Tk 10,000 and 30 per cent have above Tk 15000 with major expenses for food, followed by house-rent, children’s education and treatment.

ActionAid found that 90 per cent of the survivors did not get any support during the ongoing pandemic. 10 per cent respondents reported receiving of food and health and hygiene material supports from several local groups and individuals.

Most of the survivors have expectations to get employment opportunities, easy loans to start business and access to treatment at the public hospitals and rehabilitation centres.

The survey has highlighted that the RMG workers require targeted supports to cope with the impacts of Covid-19.

The policymakers and the corporate sector should come up with relevant packages to support the Rana Plaza survivors. These packages should be developed in consultation with the survivors.

This should be considered as same as the stimulus package offered to the RMG entrepreneurs.