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IPS Examines Efforts To Improve Maternal Health In Bangladesh

Inter Press Service examines efforts to improve maternal health in Bangladesh. “In the last decade, the Bangladesh government has invested in a maternal health program with support from a number of foreign development partners,” the news service writes, adding, “The health, nutrition, and population program of Bangladesh has adopted a national strategy for maternal health focusing on emergency obstetric care for reducing maternal mortality, concentrating especially on early detection and appropriate referral of complications, and improvement of quality of care.” According to IPS, “A maternal mortality and health care survey conducted in 2010 with the help of several development partners found that maternal mortality in Bangladesh fell from 322 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2001 to 194 in 2010 — a 40 percent decline in nine years.” However, the news service continues, “In its country report in 2011, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that though maternal mortality has been reduced in Bangladesh, only half the mothers receive antenatal care from skilled providers. The report said that health care correlates with household wealth and educational background” (Haq, 8/23).