Maternal and child mortality rate will come down significantly if child marriage and adolescent motherhood can be stopped, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque yesterday.
The minister was speaking at a programme titled, “25 years of the International Conference on Population and development (ICPD): accelerating the promise”, as chief guest.
The Department of Family Planning organised the event marking “World Population Day” at Krishibid Institution Bangladesh.
In the last 25 years, Bangladesh has brought down the child mortality rate by 73 percent. A 2015 United Nations Children’s Fund report said under-five mortality rate in Bangladesh was 144 in 1,000 in 1990, which has fallen to 38 per 1,000 in 2015.
“Over the last 10 years, the health sector has made some remarkable achievements,” Maleque said. “Now our lifespan is 73 years; earlier it was 60. Population growth decreased from 2.61 percent to 1.37 percent. The country is now free from polio,” he added.
Dr AFM Ruhal Haque, member of parliamentary standing committee on ICT affairs, hoped that the health sector will continue to improve. He urged healthcare workers to be more dedicated.
Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services; Dr Asa Torkelsson, representative of UNFPA Bangladesh; and Sheikh Yousuf Harun, acting secretary of Health Education and Family Welfare Division, also spoke at the programme.