Tasnim Ahmed, a Stanford medical student and ’21-22 Stanford Global Health Media Fellow, used the capstone portion of her year-long fellowship to investigate opioid access in low-and-middle-income countries, focusing on her home country of Bangladesh.
In her story, recently published in Think Global Health, she reported that rigid government regulations on manufacturing opioids, physician hesitancy to prescribe morphine, and high costs for permits to sell it presented roadblocks to accessing morphine for those who need it the most — and that each factor stems from a longstanding stigma toward opioids. This stigma has been exacerbated by lessons learned from the United States opioid crisis.
“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Bangladesh, a country that I’m so personally connected to, and report on this topic,” said Ahmed. “I hope that this story can bring some awareness to the pain gap, and to Bangladesh, which is an underreported country.”