197485 Collective exposure to violence and human rights violations in the complex setting in Bangladesh (I): Epidemiological character

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:05 PM

Shr-Jie Wang, MPH, PhD , Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, Copenhagen, Denmark
Jens Modvig, MD, PhD , Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, Copenhagen, Denmark
Edith Montgomery, PhD , Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, Copenhagen, Denmark
Aims: This is a case study of conflict epidemiology with an initial effort to assess organized and political violence (OPV) and human rights violations at the population level in Bangladesh.

Background: Since 1972, ruling parties in Bangladesh have systematically used torture/inhuman treatment against political opponents and criminals.

Methods: The population-based study consists of two parts: household survey and OPV screening at a mobile clinic (presented in the part II). Multistage cluster sampling method was used in the household survey: 22 clusters with a sample size of 1,101 households (population of 4870) were selected in the Meherpur district.

Results: Overall level of violence and human rights abuse (including torture) is high. 75% households reported that family members had witnessed violent actions against relatives or friends. The annual injury rate was 36%, life experience of violence-attributable injury was 50% and pain experience within 2 week preceding the survey was 57%. 80% of population over 35 years old complained about pain. There is financial burden imposed on the family with an injured person. Our study reveals geographical pattern regarding reports of torture and life experience of violence-attributable injury. A combination of individual, relational, community and societal factors including variables like political party affiliation, conflict with other families, household income and residential area affect the risk of victimization in the household.

Conclusion: We have compiled a minimum dataset on OPV features in Meherpur district. An immediate multilevel intervention with a rights-based approach to prevention and rehabilitation is required at the western border of Bangladesh.

Learning Objectives:
1. Formulate a generic rapid assessment protocol for epidemiological study of organized and political violence (OPV) in the complex setting 2. Identify hidden oppressed population 3. Assess the possible extent of OPV exposure and overall human rights abuse 4. Identify the risk factors of victimization at family and community level 5. Describe the elevated prevalence of annual injury, life experience on violence-attributable injury and pain complaints in relation to the level of collective exposure to OPV 6. Evaluate financial burden of families with injured members

Keywords: Violence, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Clinical and Intervention Epidemiology, Basel University, Switzerland and MPH in Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, Yale University, USA
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Violence Epidemiology
See more of: Epidemiology