Pregnant women would be able to receive round-the-clock services in each of the 4,000 Family Welfare Centres (FWC) across the country in about two months, said MM Neaz Uddin, secretary to the health and family welfare ministry, yesterday.
With implementation of the government initiative, fewer maternal and child deaths would occur, he hoped.
Neaz Uddin was addressing a roundtable discussion on reproductive health, organised by the Bangla daily Prothom Alo at its office in the capital.
Money is not an issue in implementing the plan, he said, adding, “What we really lack in the ministry is people taking initiatives that can bring major changes.”
At present only about one-third of the country's mothers give birth with assistance of a skilled birth attendant, according to Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey-2011.
Addressing the discussion, Dr AK Azad, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, said the government was developing an IT-based network that would be able to keep track of health records of all mothers and children by the end of next year.
He further said the government was planning to develop a national electronic database titled “Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS)” from next year to record and document vital information of people, including health data, for providing better services and for policy-making.
He said the maternal mortality had reduced from 320 to 194 between the years 2001 and 2011.
Prof Maleka Begum, women's rights activist; Bushra Binte Alam, senior health specialist at the World Bank; Shehlina Ahmed, health adviser at the DFID; and Dhiraj Kumar Nath, staff consultant at the ADB, also spoke.