Ranking 113rd out of 195 countries in the latest Global Health Security Index (GHS Index), Bangladesh is far from being prepared for a major disease outbreak.
Bangladesh scored 35 out of 100, which is below the average score of 40 on the GHS Index.
According to the report published on Thursday, Bangladesh scored moderately in early detection and reporting for epidemics of potential international concern; commitments to improving national capacity, financing and adherence to norms; and overall risk environment and country vulnerability to biological threats.
Bangladesh is poorly prepared in three other areas: prevention of the emergence or release of pathogens; rapid response to and mitigation of the spread of an epidemic; and sufficient and robust health system to treat the sick and protect health workers.
Recently, Bangladesh witnessed 104 deaths due to dengue this year, according to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research.
The Directorate General of Health Services said a total of 94,029 dengue patients were hospitalised to different public and private hospitals across the country.
In South Asia as a whole, all countries except Afghanistan marked as prepared in the index.
The GHS Index was jointly prepared by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
As the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across 195 countries, the index suggests that not a single country in the world is fully prepared to handle an epidemic or pandemic.
Even high-income countries were found lacking in many areas and scored only in the average range of preparedness.
Unlike other ratings, the GHS Index benchmarks health security in the context of tools critical to fighting outbreaks, such as robust health systems, adherence to global norms, and political and security risks, including public confidence in government.
"Health security is a collective responsibility," said Beth Cameron, vice president of the Global Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
"Countries need to know how prepared they are. And they need to know how prepared their neighbours are. Otherwise we will never improve."
The report recommended that the UN Secretary General should call a heads-of-state-level summit by 2021 on biological threats, including a focus on financing and emergency response.
Among recommendations for the countries ranked, the index urged commitment to address health security risks.
It also suggested that countries measure and be transparent about health security capacity, and that they test their health capacities annually and publish after-action reviews.