Globally, only 38% of mothers breastfeed exclusively, giving their babies nothing but breastmilk for the first six months. The figure is higher in Bangladesh, at 55%. But it is still not high enough. Exclusive breastfeeding is crucial for a baby’s healthy development. Aside from cultural traditions, and lack of knowledge, the need to work is also an influencing factor.
Bangladesh is largely an agricultural-based economy. According to the World Bank, almost half of all workers are directly employed by agriculture. The sector is credited with greatly reducing the country’s poverty rate due to rapid growth.
In 2016, TB claimed the lives of 1.3 million people across the world. Four million cases of TB have been undocumented or not reported. One of the bizarre features of TB is that it remains inactive, producing no symptoms, for long periods of time.
Making motherhood safe in Bangladesh is an achievable goal, but we have a long way to go before safe motherhood is a reality for all. The most fatal complications are easily preventable, and with quality care and facilities, we are striving to get there.
At the World Health Assembly this year, GE Healthcare and Women in Global Health, a movement that strives for greater gender equality in global health leadership, are joining forces to honor and celebrate women in global health. 2018 Heroines of Health, Professor Sabina Faiz Rashid and Professor Malabika Sarker are being honoured this year for their work with vulnerable populations in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal and child malnutrition. An estimated six million children are chronically undernourished. Many pregnant women are underweight, anaemic, and consume a nutrient-poor diet.
Bangladesh is on a drive to train more midwives, a step seen as critical to reducing the maternal mortality rate. The country’s ratio of home deliveries vastly outnumber births at health facilities. In rural areas, it’s estimated only 20% of women give birth with a skilled birth attendant present. On International Day Of The Midwife, we honour women who are saving lives.
Mosquito bites are unpleasant for everyone. Most of the time, we simply shrug them off as a brief feeling of discomfort though. That is not the case for many people around the globe though, such as the 216 million people affected by malaria, a preventable disease that claimed the lives of nearly 445,000 people in 2015 alone.
Contrary to popular belief, Noor had a clear understanding of what family planning is, and her husband was supportive of it - she had delivered her daughter with the help of a midwife at that very same health facility. She was encouraged to have her child here by a Rohingya traditional birth attendant– a volunteer in BRAC’s health team.
A large number of Ugandan women and children were consuming insufficient amounts of vitamin-A. The prevalence of vitamin-A deficiency and xerophthalmia in Uganda stands at 2.52% and 5.4% respectively, though it is estimated that about 50% children consume insufficient amounts of vitamin-A.