ABSTRACT

The study was conducted at the ten govt. as well as private health care units (HCU) in Bogra town of Bangladesh to find out the impacts of noise levels associated with health effects during the period from October 2017 to March 2018. Multi-Function Environmental Meter was used for measuring noise levels in the selected health care units. From the study the highest and lowest noise level were found in 2017 at Shahid Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital (107.7±4.37 dB) during the month of October and Annesha Clinic (60.3±1.81 dB) during the month of October, respectively. On the contrary, the highest and lowest noise levels in 2018 were found at Shahid Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital (109.7±4.7 dB) during the month of February and Modern Dental Care (59.5±1.11 dB) during the month of March, respectively. However, all of the recorded noise levels were exceeded the acceptable limit of 45 dB set by the DoE for day time in case of silent area. Concurrently a survey study was conducted with doctors, students, nurse/staff and patients. Most of the common problems occurred from noise pollution were identified as conversation, headache and hearing problems. To resolve the problem maximum respondents emphasized on awareness of visitors, banning of hydraulic horn, making sound barriers, and controlling visitors. However, the role of NGOs, researchers and professionals, media and concerned individuals is significant in minimizing the environmental hazards of noise pollution.

Key words: Noise level, health care, human health, Bogra town.

Introduction
Noise pollution exists in hospitals all over the world, is a common stressor and is recognized as not just as a nuisance but a serious health hazard. Various studies have measured hospital noise and linked to negative patients’ quality care (Juang et al., 2010; Pope, 2010; Moshi et al., 2011). Evidence has also been accumulated that noise is a risk factor in sleep disturbance (Gabor et al., 2003; Xie et al., 2009), cardiovascular dysfunction, speech interference and mental health distortion, including hearing impairment and balance disorder (Satterfield, 2001; Ising and Kruppa, 2004). The effect may not only affect the patient’s wellbeing and comfort, but may also cause stress for the staff, decreasing work performance and increasing anxiety. The source of noise pollution include doors slamming, trolleys rolling in corridors, alarms and moving parts of medical equipment are all important as are the frequently loud conversations among, staff members or visitors in hospitals (Safarpour et al., 2010). Evidence has also been showed that exposure of noise is increasing at an alarming rate at health care centers both Rajshahi city (Sultana, 2014) and Mymensingh city (Islam 2016). More importantly, general hospitals and clinics are located along the roadsides and around the busy places of the city and town. Beside the increasing degree of air and water pollution, noise pollution is also emerging as a new threat to the inhabitants of Bogra town. Due to rapid urbanization, the level of noise pollution is increasing at major health care units in Bogra town. Little studies were conducted with industrial activities, construction activities, highly traffic congestion, indiscriminate use of loud speakers, and mismanagement of the health staffs and their lack of awareness in Bogra town. At this point, in the existing study, noise levels at various places of indoor, outdoor and other important departments at the selected hospitals and clinics of Bogra town area were measured and compared with the DoE and WHO regulation to reach the following objectives: to investigate the level of noise pollution and to assess the health effects of noise pollution for ensuring sound and peaceful environment in health care units of Bogra town.