Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programs in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has achieved substantial gains in the field of health during the last three decades despite modestly declining poverty and inadequate health services. However, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and maternal mortality ratio (MMR) continue to be unacceptably high compared to many other developing countries, with persisting socioeconomic differentials. While access to family planning is increasing, access to three other pillars of safe motherhood namely antenatal care, clean and safe delivery, and essential obstetric care, remain largely unfulfilled. The objective of this study is to review the major maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) interventions since independence for documenting best practices, revisiting lessons learned and identifying gaps for informed program design in future.

Both published and unpublished materials for the last ten years were selected which include materials on relevant health systems and interventions in the public and private sectors. While searching the website, key words such as maternal, child, neonatal, health, intervention, programs, health status, traditional birth attendants (TBAs), midwives, Bangladesh, and emergency obstetric care (EmOC) were used. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 stakeholders in different national and international organizations who are involved in planning, policy making and implementing MNCH interventions at local and national levels. The interviews focused on intervention components, strategies, targeted populations, expected outcomes, achievements so far and strengths and weaknesses of their program. Data were collected during February-March 2006. Findings were organized separately for rural and urban areas respectively.


Nasreen, H. (2007). Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health Programmes in Bangladesh: Review of good practices and lessons learned (No. 32). Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC.

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