The Doctor Will Skype You Now: Virtual Checkups Reach Bangladesh’s Isolated Islands

Monday, November 11, 2019



Fazila Begum grinned as she lifted up her hem to reveal a fading patch of scaly skin around her ankle.

“Who knew this one little cream would work so fast?” she says.

Fazila, 34, has been dealing with eczema for the past five years but never got it treated. The nearest hospital is an hour away, by boat and rickshaw, and her skin condition didn’t seem serious enough to make the trek, so she ignored it — until a new technology brought the doctor to her.

Fazila lives on Golna char, a remote river island in northern Bangladesh. Chars are low-lying, temporary sand islands that are continuously formed and destroyed through silt deposition and erosion. They’re home to over six million people, who face repeated displacement from flooding and erosion — which may be getting worse because of climate change — and a range of health risks, including malnutrition, malaria, chronic diarrhea and other water-borne diseases.


Image credit Flickr.


Source: NPR (link opens in a new window)

Health Care, Technology