Research Program with Harvard University

Dhaka Community Hospital Trust (DCH Trust) is doing various research activities on Health, Arsenic and Occupational Health Safety in collaboration with local and international organizations or institutions like Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Oregon State University-USA, Boston Children Hospital – USA, South Australia University, Jadovpur University-India, Universiti Sains Malaysia.


Research Program with Harvard University

  1. Molecular Epidemiology of Arsenic exposure and Skin Lesions in Bangladesh

A Collaborative Study between Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard University, USA and Dhaka Community Hospital Trust (DCH Trust), Bangladesh.

DCH Trust and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) conducted this project in Bangladesh. DCH Trust was operating all the field activities including household survey, patient identification, sample collection and testing. The project was also provided alternative safe water option and treatment to the patients with free of cost.


Under the project DCH Trust conducted different studies in Bangladesh.

  1. Case-Control Study /li>
  2. Repeated Measures Study
  3. Case-Control Follow up Study
  4. Biomarker of Arsenic Related Reproductive study
  5. Bangladesh Follow-Up: Metals and Child Development Study
  6. a) Case-Control Study:

In Bangladesh, there is a problem with poison called arsenic in the drinking water. This sometimes causes diseases of skin and other parts of body. The reason for our research was to find out how arsenic is handled in the body and whether it has affected human health, particularly skin.

The program activities included:

  • Consent Form Fill-up.
  • Questionnaire fill-up about health and drinking water history.
  • Some biological sample (Drinking water, Toenail, Urine, Blood) collection for arsenic test.

Total 1800 participants both male and female directly benefited from this program


  1. b) Repeated Measures Study:

We conducted a repeated – measure study on 50 families, 25 families from areas where water samples were reportedly low or few skin lesions have reported and another 25 families from areas where water samples were reportedly high and more skin lesions. The dosimetry study describes the quantitative exposure-biomarker-response relationships for water and dietary exposures versus urine and nail biomarkers.

The program activities included:

  • Consent Form Fill-up.
  • Questionnaire fill-up about health and drinking water history.
  • samples of drinking water, toenails and urine collected longitudinally (monthly) over a 12 month period.
  1. c) Case- Control Follow-up study:

This study was re-contacting the original 1800 participants as possible who took part in the Case-Control study. Continuation of this study was evaluate the chronic effects of arsenic exposure on skin lesions, the effect of chronic arsenic exposure on glucose tolerance and the effectiveness of the arsenic mitigation program on reducing arsenic exposure.

Schedule activities included:

  • Administer questionnaires ( socio-demographic variables, medical history, water history, food frequency)
  • collect the biological samples ( Blood, Toenail, Urine and Skin biopsy)
  • Photograph skin lesions
  • Random glucose test

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