UK aid has helped reduce maternal mortality in Bangladesh and Nepal by 40%BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a517 (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1459
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In news Siddhartha Yadav1 reported that UK aid has helped Bangladesh
to reduce maternal death by 44% from 1990 to 2007. The author discusses
only maternal death but Bangladesh has also improved in child
mortality in previous year.
Bangladesh with 130 million people is the world's most densely
populated country. About 2.5 million babies are born in every year in
Bangladesh. Although Bangladesh is one of the 42 least developed countries
but it has been impressive progress in health and nutrition in the last
decades. Due to the integrated program on immunization (EPI), integrated
management on childhood illness and other governmental health related
services such as introducing skilled birth-attendance during birth and
education, the mortality rate of under-5 and under-1 declined 2.9%
and 1.4% during 2001 to 2007 respectively2,3,4. Awareness, nutritional
status and facility of treatment in urban and rural are main factors to
reduce diarrhoea, acute respiratory diseases, injury, drowning and vaccine
related diseases in children. The mothers are much more aware about the
breastfeeding newborn infants due to government campaign. Not only child
mortality but also the maternal mortality has been rapidly decreased
during this time. The child mortality rate of under-5 declined from
940 per 10,000 in 2001 to 650 per 10,000 in 2007. The total child mortality
rate has decreased 2.9% in last 7 years2,3,4.
According to the World Health Organization, over half of the
country's children are fully immunized with antigens (diphtheria,
pertussis, tetanus tuberculosis, measles) included in the EPI and no cases
of polio have been reported since 2001. The stunting, wasting has also
been decreased within this time2,3. Recently a comprehensive study
reported that infant immunization substantially decrease the childhood
mortality in Bangladesh4. In another study reported that suboptimum
breastfeeding represented 1.4 million child deaths and 44 million DALYs
(10% of DALYs in children younger than 5 years) in the developing
countries including Bangladesh6. To achieve the United Nations millennium
development goals by 2015, Bangladesh might aware to eradicate extreme
poverty and hunger, fulfil universal primary education, combat
HIV/AIDS and other diseases, promote gender equality and empower women,
ensure environmental sustainability, reduce child mortality, improve
maternal health and develop a global partnership for development.
The other developing countries can gain knowledge from Bangladesh to
reduce maternal and childhood mortality.
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
*Dewan Sakhawat Billal, Ph.D
Department of Otolaryngology,
Wakayama Medical University,
1.Yaduv S. UK aid has helped cut maternal deaths in Bangladesh. BMJ
2.UNICEF Bangladesh. http://www.unicef.org/bangladesh/index.html
(accessed June 26, 2008)
3.Ministry of Health and family planning, Government of the people�fs
republic of Bangladesh. Kamal ATMM, Director of mother and child health
services (MCH-S), Ministry of family planning, Bangladesh.
4.The daily Amader shomoy, February 28, 2008.
5.Breiman RF, Streatfield PK, Phelan M, Shifa N, Rashid M, Yunus M.
Effect of infant immunisation on childhood mortality in rural Bangladesh:
analysis of health and demographic surveillance data. Lancet 2004;
6.Black RE, Allen LH, Bhutta ZA, et al. for the Maternal and Child
Undernutrition Study group. Maternal and child undernutrition: global and
regional exposure and heath consequences. Lancet 2008; 371:243-60.
Competing interests: No competing interests