Commemorating International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths (IAD4AD)

Publish: 8:49 PM, March 11, 2024 | Update: 8:49 PM, March 11, 2024

On 9th March 2024, the event for International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths (IAD4AD) was hosted by the Department of Meteorology and Avoidable Deaths Network (ADN) Bangladesh at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka. This meaningful event aimed to raise awareness about preventable deaths and promote strategies to mitigate risks effectively. The event, attended by notable speakers and participants from various sectors, focused on addressing pressing issues and proactive measures to reduce avoidable deaths. It served as a crucial platform for stakeholders to collaborate, share expertise, and advance efforts in saving lives and strengthening resilience against disaster.

We were privileged to have Professor Dr. A. S. M. Maksud Kamal, the Honorable Vice Chancellor of the University of Dhaka, as our Chief Guest. Subsequently Mr. Md. Mijanur Rahman, Director General of the Department of Disaster Management and Professor Dr. Md. Maksudur Rahman, Proctor, University of Dhaka were present as Special Guests in this seminar. We also had Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett, Co-Founder of ADN and Associate Professor at the University of Leicester as Guest of Honor among us. Ana Mariquina, a representative from Bangladesh Red Cresent Society was also present among us. The program was chaired by Dr. Fatima Akter, Chairperson & Associate Professor at the Department of Meteorology, University of Dhaka.
The program was initiated by Dr. Fatima Akter with a presentation on “Early Warning & Early Action: Advancing Meteorology in Avoidable Disaster Death” highlighting technological advancements and actionable steps to reduce disaster-related fatalities. Later, few more presentations were delivered by participating speakers. Dr. Aminur Rahman, Director of the International Drowning Research Centre-Bangladesh (IDRC-B) Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB), emphasized the importance of initiatives like community day care centers and Swim Safe programs in preventing child drowning. Md. Shahjahan, Coordinator at the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), introduced the organization’s Anticipatory Action Plan to combat heatwave threats highlighting severe health risks. Then Dr. Fariha Haseen, Associate Professor, Department of Public Health and Informatics, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University highlighted the significance of gender-responsive disaster management in addressing the vulnerabilities faced by women and adolescent girls during disasters.

The guest of honor Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett discussed about the ADN theme and outlined the fourfold purpose of IAD4AD. These include fostering awareness regarding indirect disaster fatalities and missing persons, documenting the underlying causes and circumstances, championing the slogan ‘Disaster Deaths Are Avoidable,’ and actively striving to mitigate disaster-related fatalities. Following, the discussion Dr. Md. Maksudur Rahman, Proctor, University of Dhaka emphasized the importance of student collaboration and partnership in reducing disaster-related fatalities.

Later, the special guest of the event Mr. Md. Mijanur Rahman, Director General of the Department of Disaster Management, shared his valuable perspective on reducing disaster-related deaths. He highlighted significant improvements in reducing such deaths since 1971 to the present day. He also emphasized that many disasters are human-induced, making it possible to decrease the death rate and property loss through effective measures. He noted the importance of infrastructure development, citing examples like the Padma Bridge, and highlighted the government’s efforts to reduce deaths from drowning.