Bangladesh Must Improve Quality Of Maternal Health Care Services To Meet Maternal Mortality SDG
Devex: Opinion: Why has the decline of maternal deaths stalled in Bangladesh?
Mushtaque Chowdhury, vice chairperson of BRAC and founding dean of the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University, and Wameq Azfar Raza, economist at the World Bank
“…The recent 2016 Bangladesh Maternal Mortality and Health Care Survey showed no improvement [in the number of women dying during labor] since the 2010 survey. … Despite the fact that in the past eight years there are nearly double the number of health facilities to support mothers the picture has not changed since 2010. Akin to the global experience, Bangladesh is no exception in the paradox where expanded facility deliveries have not lead to a reduction in maternal mortality. The critical element here is the quality and access of the services provided. … The necessary medicines to treat hemorrhage and eclampsia were only available in less than half of the health facilities. I am sad to say that the list of inadequacies goes on. … If we are to achieve the SDG target of only 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030 we need to take substantive and definitive action. The Bangladeshi government needs to commit to improving our health system through its governance and service delivery. Until then this SDG target will simply remain a dream…” (10/4).