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GlobalPost Examines Efforts To Reduce Child Mortality In Bangladesh

In an article published as part of a GlobalPost special report titled “The Seven Million,” the news service examines child health in Bangladesh, writing, “Counter to the common perception of Bangladesh as hopelessly impoverished, the country has made dramatic strides in reducing overall child mortality in recent decades.” The news service continues, “Bangladesh’s child and maternal health statistics are better than those in India, where the economy and resources far exceed those of its poorer neighbor to the East.” GlobalPost writes, “There is no single, simple answer to how Bangladesh has managed to come so far. Rather, a multifaceted set of factors has improved child health, and the country is trying to close in on the remaining weaknesses.” The article discusses these factors, including improved macroeconomic conditions, which “have contributed to more education and better health”; the strong presence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and the spread of information about hygienic deliveries and newborn care by birthing centers and female health workers. However, “[c]hallenges to reduce child deaths increase in hard-to-reach parts of Bangladesh, especially in the east, which lags behind in a range of health indicators, from birth control to immunization,” according to Shams El Arifeen, director of the center for child and adolescent health at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b), the news service notes.

For the ongoing special report, GlobalPost “correspondents in Africa and Asia will examine the progress and challenges that developing countries face as they fight to reduce deaths of the nearly seven million children under age five who die every year, largely due to preventable causes,” according to the article (Yee, 6/25).