Background Data on disability among Bangladeshi people are suboptimal, extremely variable, methodologically inconsistent, and not precisely known. Therefore, we conducted a comprehensive survey on disability to determine prevalence and distribution of cause specific disability among residents of a district in Bangladesh.
Methods The survey was conducted in Manikganj, a typical district in Bangladesh, in 2009. Data were collected from 37,030 individuals of all ages. Samples were drawn out of 8,905 households from urban and rural areas proportionate to population size. Three sets of interviewer administered questionnaires were used separately for 0–1 years, 2–10 years, and 11 years and above age groups to collect data. For the age groups 0–1 years and 2–10 years, the parents or the head of household were interviewed to obtain the responses. Impairments, activity limitations and restriction of participation were considered in defining disability which is consistent with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework.
Results The overall age standardised prevalence of disability per 1000 was 46.5 (95% confidence interval, 44.4–48.6). The prevalence was significantly high among the respondents living in rural areas at 50.2 (47.7–52.7), compared to urban areas at 31.0 (27.0–35.0). Overall, females had more disability 50.0 (46.9–53.1) than males 43.4 (40.5–46.3). Educational deprivation was closely linked to higher prevalence of disability. Commonly reported prevalence (per 1000) of cause specific disability was illness (20.2) followed by congenital (9.4) and injury (6.8) and these were consistent in males and females.
Conclusions Disability is a common problem in this typical district of Bangladesh, which is largely generalizable. Interventions at community level with special attention to the socio-economically deprived group are warranted.
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