Bringing Healthcare to Hard-Hit Areas in Bangladesh

Q&A with Runa Khan, founder of Friendship, a Dhaka-based non-governmental organisation that uses clinics on barges to deliver mobile healthcare to people in impoverished and flood-prone areas of Bangladesh.

As the world recognises progress in reducing the incidence of AIDS on World AIDS Day, as well as the work that lies ahead, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) asked this entrepreneur-turned-activist in Bangladesh about incentives and the role of the private sector in improving healthcare services for underserved communities for a Q&A commissioned by the United Nations Foundation.

This is the second in a series of Q&As that will explore progress towards and what remains to be done to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 UN-backed goals that more than 190 countries agreed to prioritise as national targets in 2015. These targets include reducing environmental degradation and improving education, health and industrial innovation.

Ms Khan’s organisation, Friendship, uses floating hospitals to reach vulnerable populations, many of whom live on islands or in coastal areas. The organisation, founded in 2002, now serves 4.2 people annually through more than 400 satellite clinics.


Comments (2)
No. 1-2

Well that is way too bad for Bangladesh. Necessary measures should be taken to resolve such things making it worst for them


Bangladesh is prone to flooding due to being situated on the Ganges Delta and the many distributaries flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Coastal flooding, combined with the bursting of river banks is common, and severely affects the landscape and society of Bangladesh.80% of if is 'floodplain'. They deserve major health care assistance, glad to see there is a system in place for them.