Medical &Health

30 Bangladeshi children die from 1,000 live births: BDHS

The BDHS report 2017-18 indicates a declining trend in newborn death until 2014. However, the report also shows that the rate has bounced back.

The new number was unveiled at a programme organised by Research for Decision Makers of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and Data for Impact in Dhaka’s Mohakhali on Wednesday.

Speakers at the discussion talked about the prematurity and low birth weight burden in the country. They also discussed innovations and interventions to reduce it and the importance of bringing positive changes in the mindset of the care seekers.

The experts said children born with below 2,500gm are considered low birth weight.

In Bangladesh, 573,000 babies are born premature. Also, 834,000 are born with weight less than 2500gm and 192,000 of them are born with weight less than 2,000gm.

And 17,100 newborn die every year from these two reasons combined and 72% of them die even before completing the first day of their lives.

Lifesaving interventions such as antenatal corticosteroid (ACS), Kangaroo mother care (KMC) and the special care newborn unit (SCANU) already proved to be very effective in preventing these untimely deaths.

Dr Ahmed Ehsanur Rahman, associate scientist of icddr,b, said: “KMC, effective in preventing premature death, is considered an easy and low-cost intervention.”

“But it involves time and effort from the families and health system as it requires mother and baby’s skin-to-skin contact for extensive hours and follow-ups.”

Only around 200 health facilities were providing KMC services throughout the country where a very few low birth weight babies were receiving KMC services, the experts said.