Safe motherhood must for safe nation


DHAKA, June 10, 2019 (BSS) – Lucky Akter Mim, 20, a dweller of Amtali upazila under Patuakhali district, died due to huge bleeding and lack of proper treatment while giving birth to her second son.

Mim delivered her son at home. Though the delivery was normal, but started huge bleeding due to several difficulties and it was not easy to give her immediate treatment as the upazila health complex was far away from her village, Patakata.

In this critical situation, Mim’s husband Nasir Uddin took her to Amtali Upazila Health Complex by a van which took too much time. At that time, the duty doctor examined Mim and gave her an injection. Then, he advised Nasir Uddin to take Mim to Patuakhali Sadar Hospital. But it was too late, the on-duty doctor declared her dead.

Describing the tragic death of Mim, Samia Afreen, project director of the Nari Pakkha, said the shocking experience has not only happened in the family of Nasir Uddin but also many families across the country due to lack of knowledge about maternal health care, insufficient medical equipment in the upazila level health complexes and union level community clinics and lack of doctors.

“Every day over 14 women die across the country while delivering babies,” she added.

Samia said Bangladesh has witnessed a steady increase in utilisation of health care facilities, particularly for pregnancy and delivery. “More than half of pregnant mothers now go to a health facility for their deliveries, mostly to private hospitals and nursing homes. Yet, a significant proportion of women are still unable to get affordable and quality health services,” she added.

She informed that the government has implemented different initiatives to ensure safe motherhood across the country.

“Nari Pakkah is also providing necessary suggestions to speed up the process of ensuring safe motherhood. We are working to create awareness among the rural people in this regard,” she added.

Talking to BSS, Director of the Maternal and Child Health Dr Mohammad Sharif said institutional delivery is essential for ensuring safe motherhood in the country.

He said the government is taking all sorts of steps to increase the institutional delivery for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“Bangladesh has to make extraordinary efforts to reduce maternal death to 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, which is an SDG goal. Now, the rate of maternal deaths is 172 out of the one lakh,” he added.

On May 28, like elsewhere of the world, Bangladesh celebrated Safe Motherhood Day. The Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.

Further, it states that motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.

Drawing from this, and other international treaties and covenants, the White Ribbon Alliance in 2011 launched a charter for the rights of childbearing women to promote respectful maternity care as a universal human right.

Bangladesh is one of the countries that have ratified the international conventions on which the charter is based.