Objective To conduct a comprehensive survey on disability to determine the prevalence and distribution of cause-specific disability among residents of the Manikganj 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 from 8905 households from urban and rural areas proportionate to population size. Three sets of interviewer-administered questionnaires were used separately for age groups 0–1 years, 2–10 years and 11 years and above to collect data. For the age groups 0–1 years and 2–10 years, the parents or the head of the household were interviewed to obtain the responses. Impairments, activity limitations and restriction of participation were considered in defining disability consistent with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework.
Results Overall, age-standardised prevalence of disability per 1000 was 46.5 (95% CI 44.4 to 48.6). Prevalence was significantly higher among respondents living in rural areas (50.2; 95% CI 47.7 to 52.7) than in urban areas (31.0; 95% CI 27.0 to 35.0). Overall, female respondents had more disability (50.0; 95% CI 46.9 to 53.1) than male respondents (43.4; 95% CI 40.5 to 46.3). Educational deprivation was closely linked to higher prevalence of disability. Commonly reported prevalences (per 1000) for underlying causes of disability were 20.2 for illness, followed by 9.4 for congenital causes and 6.8 for injury, and these were consistent in males and females.
Conclusions Disability is a common problem in this typical district of Bangladesh, which is largely generalisable. Interventions at community level with special attention to the socioeconomically deprived are warranted.
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