Bangladesh’s vulnerability to climate change has been recognized in global media accounts: it has been referenced in United Nations’ reports [1, 2], has made headlines in national  and international [4, 5] reports, and has been the center of concern in many journal articles [6–8]. The impending effects of climate change with potentially devastating consequences have drawn the highest attention at the ‘global, national and regional level during the decades’ . Climate change and its negative effect on human beings is one of the greatest challenges for the global community. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly claimed that “climate change currently contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths”. The world community has recognized that climate change affects human health negatively both directly and indirectly and can cause long-term effects . It affects individuals, communities and societies as a whole .
Climate change has been identified as one of the major threats to human health of this century because of its potential effects on vector or water-borne diseases, cold spells, extreme heat, food and water scarcity and extreme climate variability and population displacement . The majority of such health problems are especially unfavorable for vulnerable populations  and may increase global health disparities . The World Health Organization (WHO) anticipates that climate change will cause abrupt and severe storms, floods and heat weaves in the upcoming years, and this will affect the most fundamental determinants of health [16, 17]. Globally the frequency, severity and irregularities of natural disasters have tripled since the 1960s . Although climate change poses a severe threat to human health, it has received relatively little attention among scientists and policy makers .
Although the impact of climate change on human health will be global, the health consequences will be distributed unequally across regions, occupation, gender, and age , and vary depending on community vulnerability level [9, 18, 19]. People from low and middle income countries are expected to be the most vulnerable to climate change and experience the greatest impact on health [20–22]. A WHO estimate projected globally an excess of 150,000 annual deaths due to changes in the world’s climate relative to the climate baseline of 1961–1990 [23, 24].
In Bangladesh, where a large proportion of the population is vulnerable to climate change, health impacts are expected to take place through a variety of ways, including an increase of water and vector borne diseases and of health problems in general [6, 7, 25–27]. For example, southern Bangladesh is in a low-lying delta, making it vulnerable to sea level rise, severe storm-surges, floods and salinity intrusion. It is projected that a 1.5 meter rise in the sea level will inundate about 16% land of the southern part of Bangladesh, where about 17 million people live . Almost every household of three districts of southern part of Bangladesh were severely affected by the cyclone “Aila’ in 2009 . The average annual death toll in Bangladesh is about 8,241, due to extreme climatic events . Projected extreme climatic events, such as droughts, cyclones, floods, tidal-surges, heat waves, cold spells, directly and indirectly affect major determinants of health and increase the occurrence of different diseases and sickness [28, 30]. The Climate Change Cell (CCC) of Bangladesh noted that incidences of major climate sensitive diseases (i.e. diarrhea, skin diseases, malaria, mental disorders, dengue) have increased during last decade in Bangladesh . A number of diseases like normal colds/coughs/fevers, dysentery, headaches, diarrhea, skin diseases, burning sensations, conjunctivitis, jaundice/hepatitis-B, skin burns/blistering, asthma, psychological disorders, typhoid, pox, weight loss, malnutrition related diseases, rheumatism/aching, pneumonia, measles, heatstroke, malaria, dengue etc., can be influenced by extreme climate events in Bangladesh [6, 32]. As an immediate response to this increased health burden, people need to seek different steps and measures to improve the health situation. Policy makers also need to know the extent of health vulnerability and the strategies people use to avert increased sickness and diseases to formulate an effective program of action in the health sector for the climate vulnerable people of the country. Very little attention has been given by the research community in Bangladesh to investigate climate related health vulnerability and the diverse responses to cope with it. Efforts to study these human health risks remain very inadequate in Bangladesh . Given the impending consequences of climate change for the people in Bangladesh, important areas of research are (i) increasing the understanding of community level health systems’ capacity to deliver health services, and (ii) individual capacity to cope with climate-related health problems. The objective of this study was to explore what people do to avert climate-induced health problems in resource-poor settings in Bangladesh. Specifically the study explored the various strategies people adopted to cope with increased climate-induced sickness and diseases.