Well-functioning programmes with scientific interventions reduce child death

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DHAKA, Dec 25, 2019, (BSS)- Despite bearing the challenge of accelerating the mechanism to reduce child deaths, Bangladesh can boast of lessening the death rate of children. The child death rate has been reduced 63 percent in the last 20 years in the country, showing a sign of gradual improvement in the health sector as well as the social arena.

The rate of child death has been reduced in almost all countries around the globe. Bangladesh is one of the South Asian countries where the death rate of child has been reduced significantly, indicative of overcoming a number of challenges by the government in reducing child mortality.

UNICEF has already recognized the success of Bangladesh in reduction of death rate of children between the age of zero and five years. The success underlines the fact that universal coverage of scientifically-proven cost-effective interventions is one of the health programmes being implemented by the government. There is no denying the fact that a deterioration in caring capacities among caregivers exists if poverty levels and food insecurity increase.

According to a report, Bangladesh has exceeded the key indicator of the death rate of children compared to India and Pakistan. The Bangladesh government is working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by reducing the death rate of child by 2030, it said.

As per the report of the Save the Children titled ‘Annual Global Childhood Report 2019’, the death rate of the children has been reduced in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal among the South Asian countries. Among the four countries, the death rate has been reduced 63 percent in Bangladesh while the rate is 60 percent in Bhutan, 59 percent in Nepal and 57 percent in India.

The low coverage and poor performance of the health system contribute to a high mortality rate of otherwise preventable deaths, including neonatal conditions, pneumonia, and diarrhea.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malek said the
government has increased all facilities and is providing health care services to reduce the death rate of mother and children.

He said the number of death of mother is now 172 among one lakh which was 176 in 2017. Besides, the death rate of children is now 18.4 percent in each thousand while the number was 20 in 2015.

The health minister said the number of the child death, as per the SDG goals, would have to be reduced by 12 percent by 2030. “The achievement will be possible within two years if all responsible persons in the health sector will perform their duties properly. For this, 24 hours delivery facilities will be kept in all public hospitals across the country,” he added.

A report of Directorate General of Family Planning showed that the death rate of the children has been reduced 73 percent in the last 24 years.

As per the SDGs, the number of the death age between zero and one month children would have to be reduced to 12 in every thousand which is now 28. But the number of the death of child age between zero and five years is 38 in every thousand.

On the other hand, the health ministry has fixed the target to reduce the number of death of children to 20 in every thousand by 2035.

Directorate General of Family Planning Director (mother and children) Dr Mohammad Sharif said the death risk of children between zero and one month is more. But the children aged between zero and five years also face risk. Shortness of breath, underweight, septicemia, pneumonia and encephalitis are the main reasons of the deaths of children between zero and five years. Besides, malnutrition is also another reason of child death, he added.

Health care providers –mainly physicians, nurses, midwives and support staff—can only care in rural areas if they are supported with functional equipment, sufficient essentials supplies, including drugs.

These are issues the government can take up with the private sector, faith-based organizations and development partners.

It is imperative to scale up child survival interventions through capitalizing on well-functioning programmes, including Expanded Programme of Immunization and high antenatal care attendance.

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