Maternal health

Bangladesh, together with Government and civil society partners has made significant efforts to improve maternal and newborn health. Over the last 14 years, some remarkable progress has been made: globally, the under-five mortality rate has decreased from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 in 2012.

Bangladesh, together with Government and civil society partners has made significant efforts to improve maternal and newborn health. Over the last 14 years, some remarkable progress has been made: globally, the under-five mortality rate has decreased from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 in 2012. Bangladesh in particular has made huge advancements: the under-five mortality rate has been reduced (from 239 per 1000 in 1970 to 65 per 1000 in 2007), 75% of infants are fully vaccinated by their first birthday, and the maternal mortality ratio has been dramatically reduced by 40%.

Significant challenges however remain: half of all maternal deaths are due to conditions that are preventable with skilled care, such as haemorrhage. Only 41% of the need for maternal health care professionals is met. Sadly, every hour, 14 babies less than one month old die – many of these deaths happen in the home. Extremely young mothers in particular are vulnerable to maternal complications such as obstetric istula. Efforts to eliminate early marriage and subsequent early pregnancy need to be further strengthened.

UNFPA in Bangladesh therefore works together with national partners to:

  • Introduce midwife-led maternal and newborn health care
  • Increase facility delivery
  • Ensure 24/7 Emergency Neonatal and Obstetric Care is available
  • Eliminate Obstetric Fistula in Bangladesh
  • Revitalize Family Planning