Maternal mortality and child marriage are declining in Bangladesh: UNFPA


Maternal mortality and child marriage rate in Bangladesh are going down, while contraceptive prevalence rate is increasing, according to the latest State of World Population Report released here today.

“Maternal mortality and child marriage rates are declining and contraceptive prevalence rate is rising. Despite this marked success, we need to do way more to achieve three zeros and SDGs,” Kristine Blokhus, Country Representative of the UNFPA in Bangladesh, said while unveiling the report at UNFPA Bangladesh office here.

UNFPA published the State of World Population report analysing major development and key trends of world population and demographics.

Total population in Bangladesh reached 169.8 million in 2022, according to the latest census. The report revealed that the country’s population is 173 million which a projection based number is for 2023.

There are more female (50.43 percent) than male (49.51 percent) population in Bangladesh, according to the Census, having the implications for the society and the economy, including reaping the gender dividend.

The age structure of the population shows a favorable demographic transition with 26 percent population aged 0-14, 68 percent aged 15-64 and 6 percent aged 65 plus.

Life expectancy at birth is 72 for men and 76 for women in 2023 (70.6 for male and 74.1 for female in 2021), the report said.

Kristine Blokhus said maternal mortality is reported in the report in 123 (death per 100,000 live births) which needs to be explained with caution, as it is based on a new estimate done by UNFPA, WHO, World Bank and UNICEF.

She said 51 percent of girls are married before they turn 18 (50 percent before aged 18 and 27 percent before 15, BDHS 2022). Bangladesh continues to have the highest rate of child marriage in Asia, she added.

About high rate of adolescent pregnancy, the UNFPA representative said adolescent birth per 1,000 girls aged 15-19 years is 74, while almost one in every four married adolescents already started childbearing.

Contraceptive prevalence rate is 64 percent.

There is a marked heterogeneity in terms of women’s fertility preferences - while some women in Bangladesh preferred not to have children because they could not ensure their survival, others wanted to increase their family size by at least one son, which was seen as helping the family’s security, Kristine Blokhus said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha