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Durham University presents their findings on the Bangladeshi community

54By Ansar Ahmed Ullah ::

A community event titled ‘Bangladeshis in the UK: Research on Integration, Health and Wellbeing’ was held in Newcastle’s Beacon Centre on 29 November to provide an opportunity for Bangladeshis in the North East of England and London to learn about and discuss the research Durham University is conducting within the community.
The primary goal of the event was to provide a mutual learning opportunity for both researchers and Bangladeshis in the North-East of England and in London. The event provided an opportunity for the community to learn about the work Durham University researchers are doing with the Bangladeshi communities on health and wellbeing and, on the other, for the researchers to learn about views from the community regarding research findings.

Professor of Anthropology at Durham University Gillian Bentley gave background to the research about Bangladeshis in London and the Northeast. Following that Mahtab Miah, Chair of Newcastle Bangladesh Association and Shirin Hussain, volunteer Co-ordinator of First Step charity gave a community perspective. The findings of the research were presented by Dr Papreen Nahar, Department of Anthropology, Dr Nasima Akhter, Post-Doctoral Research Associate and Dr Khurshida Begum, Department of Anthropology.

Their findings pointed to the fact that Bangladeshis are at higher risk for certain diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and some cancers than the general population but there were no significant regional differences between North East and South or generational differences. The researchers found this to be surprising as these groups face different experiences and challenges following migration and during acculturation. However the researchers found that there were some gender and regional differences in self reported health and well being. In addition Bangladeshis have lowest level of physical activity, high prevalence of obesity and often report of higher levels of ill health and stress.

Following the presentation of the research findings a panel discussion took place to give their feedback on the findings. The panel consisted of North East representative Councillor Dipu Ahad, Yasmin Khan, Patient Safety Lead, NHS England and Sajna Miah, Vice Chair, Black Minorities Ethnic Network in Darlington and London representatives civil servant Abu Sufian Ahmed and community activist Ansar Ahmed Ullah.

The researchers found the panel discussion and round table discussion productive in the sense that it provided a community perspective from all of the participants. The organisers were pleased with the event as it had engaged the members of Panel, Community Advisory Committee, as well as the community members interested in this research on acculturation and health and wellbeing of Bangladeshi migrants living in North and South England.