Friday, October 18, 2019 | ePaper

BD achieves highest success in reducing child death rate

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Bangladesh has achieved highest success in reducing child death rate in South Asia as the country saw under-5 years child mortality rate downed to 63 percent in last 20 years while Bhutan experienced 60 percent, Nepal 59 and India 57 during the same period.  "Bangladesh has cut its under-5 years mortality rate by 63 percent since 2000 and by 77 percent since 1990 while the country is expected to reach the global target of 25 or fewer deaths per 1,000 births in years before the 2030 deadline of Sustainable Development goals (SDGs)," said the "Global Childhood Report 2019" of Save the Children published recently.  In 1990, the WHO Global Health Observatory data said 532,000 child deaths occurred in Bangladesh that is cut to around 100,000 annually currently.  Save the Children lauded the Bangladesh government's efforts in setting up community clinics and bringing primary health care system under digitization to improving child health.
In Bangladesh, the report found investments being focused on strengthening health systems and introducing and scaling up proven solutions for mothers, children and newborns.
"Progress has been equitable - benefitting poor and rich, girls and boys, and also rural and urban children. Targeted, well-designed and equity-oriented programs have achieved high immunization coverage and high rates of treatment of diarrhoea and pneumonia in Bangladesh," it added.  Identifying that women's and girl's education and empowerment are key factors for having progress in Bangladesh the report said, adding the country has also engaged in civil society, including children and young people, in setting public policy priorities and influencing budget allocations.  Bangladesh has launched the National Newborn Health Program to reduce the remaining under-5 child deaths. The new initiative focuses on scaling up a package of evidence-based interventions in all 64 districts of the country.  In her message marking "Safe Motherhood Day-2019 on May 28 last, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the development of maternal and child health is the indispensible part of national development.
She said her government has introduced three-year 'midwifery course' to ensure safe delivery and motherhood.
"We have big challenge ahead to reduce the maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births and reduce newborn mortality to 12 per 1,000 live births by 2030 to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," she said.
To meet the challenge, the premier said, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry is working to implement fourth health sector programme (2017-22) in light with the national seventh five year plan and Vision 2021.  Head of Pediatric Department of Institute of Child and Mother Health in the capital, Professor Wahida Khanom said the community clinic is playing an important role in reducing the death rate of newborn babies across the country.

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