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Over 2.72 Lakh premature deaths occur in Bangladesh annually due to Pollution: World Bank

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Over 272,000 premature deaths occur in Bangladesh per year due to air pollution, unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and lead exposure, said a new report of the World Bank. Bangladesh faces alarming levels of pollution and environmental health risks that disproportionately harm the most vulnerable people – the poor, children under 5, the elderly, and women, according to the report released on Thursday in Dhaka.

The Bangladesh Country Environmental Analysis finds air pollution, unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and lead exposure cause over 272,000 premature deaths and 5.2 billion days of illness annually. These environmental costs were equivalent to 17.6 per cent of Bangladesh’s GDP in 2019.

The report said that Household and outdoor air pollution have the most detrimental effect on health, leading to nearly 55 per cent of premature deaths, which alone cost 8.32 per cent of GDP in 2019.

The World Bank report suggests that timely and urgent interventions for air pollution control; improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); and control of lead exposure could prevent over 133,000 premature deaths per year. Investments in cleaner power generation, clean cooking fuels, and stricter controls on industrial emissions can help reduce air pollution.

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