30 Bangladeshi newborns in every 1,000 live births die: BDHS report | The Daily Star
12:57 AM, February 04, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:00 AM, February 04, 2021

30 Bangladeshi newborns in every 1,000 live births die: BDHS report

In every 1,000 live births, 30 newborns die in the country, says Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS).

Premature birth and low birth weight cause 19 percent of these deaths.

The BDHS report 2017-18 indicates a declining trend in newborn deaths until 2014, but the rate has bounced back since.

The new number was unveiled at a programme organised by Research for Decision Makers of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and Data for Impact in Dhaka's Mohakhali on Wednesday.

Speakers at the discussion talked about the burden of premature birth and low birth weight burden in the country. They also discussed innovations and interventions to reduce it and the importance of bringing positive changes in the mindset of the care seekers.

The experts said children born weighing below 2.5 kg are considered to have low birth weight.

In Bangladesh, 573,000 babies are born prematurely. Also, 834,000 are born with weight less than 2.5 kg and 192,000 of them are born with weighing less than 2 kg.

And 17,100 newborns die every year for these two reasons combined and 72 percent of them die within a day of being born.

Lifesaving interventions such as antenatal corticosteroid (ACS), Kangaroo mother care (KMC) and the special care newborn unit (SCANU) already proved to be very effective in preventing these untimely deaths.

According to the World Health Organization, KMC is a method of care of preterm infants. The method involves infants being carried, usually by the mother, with skin-to-skin contact.

Dr Ahmed Ehsanur Rahman, associate scientist of icddr,b, said "KMC, effective in preventing premature death, is considered an easy and low-cost intervention.

"But it involves time and effort from the families and health system as it requires mother and baby's skin-to-skin contact for extensive hours and follow-ups."

Only around 200 health facilities were providing KMC services throughout the country where a very few low birth weight babies were receiving KMC services, the experts said.

In 2020, only 5,731 babies received KMC service – 1 percent of the babies requiring the service.



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