Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing maternal mortality rate since 1990, but still about 15 mothers die every day in the country due to maternal complications, UNICEF experts said on Sunday.
At a National Award Giving ceremony for Emergency Obstetric Care at a city hotel, UNICEF experts and other government and nongovernment officials said Bangladesh needed to reach the modern maternity health services to the deprived and hard-to-reach areas to restrain the maternal death.
Directorate General of Health Services and United Nations Children’s Fund jointly organised the meeting to award the health workers who performed well in providing emergency obstetric care to the mothers.
Presenting an overview on maternal health in Bangladesh, UNICEF specialist on maternal and newborn health, Riad Mahmud, said that Bangladesh reduced maternal mortality by 69 per cent between 1990 and 2015 and the current maternal mortality rate is 176 per 100,000 live birth.
He said delivery rate by skilled healthcare provider stood at 42 per cent and the facility was provided mostly at health facilities (37 per cent).
‘Despite the success, 15 mothers are dying each day in Bangladesh... it’s a challenging issue’, Riad said.
He said that the maternal mortality rate is seven times higher in Sylhet division (425 per 100,000 live birth) than Khulna division (64 per 100,000 live birth), which indicated that there was disparity in maternal health service providing.
UNICEF representative in Bangladesh, Sara Bordas Eddy, said despite progress in reducing maternal death, it could not be forgotten that still 15 mothers die each day in Bangladesh.
She said that the government needed continuing investment in maternal health and providing stress on reaching the pocket areas which remained out of the services.
Health secretary Sirajul Islam said it looked good when we compare the current maternal health situation with previous ten years, but we are still far behind the ideal maternal mortality rate.
‘We have to work together to achieve that goal’, he told the health service providers.
Speaking as chief guest, Health minister Mohammad Nasim said the government ran 14,000 community clinics across the country facilitating maternal health services.
He said the health workers have to inspire the mothers so that they go to community clinics and upazila health facilities to take maternal health services.
Nasim awarded 56 health workers, from community clinics to medical college hospitals, for their contributions in emergency obstetric care services.
He said the health workers were the heroes for Bangladesh’s progress over the years in maternal health.
He urged health service providers to work together to achieve sustainable development goals set for Bangladesh to reduce the maternal mortality rate to 59 by 2030.
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