Tremendous progress achieved in health sector: Zahed Malek

DHAKA, May 28, 2019 : Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahed Malek today said Bangladesh has achieved a tremendous progress in the overall health index as the government gave special importance on all the branches of and increase investment in health sector.

“The maternal and child mortality rates have been reduced significantly in the country due to various measures taken by the government,” the minister said while addressing a press conference arranged at the Secretariat here on the occasion of the Safe Motherhood Day.

He said the maternal mortality rate was 176 in per 100,000 in 2017, but it now reduced to 172. “Child mortality rate was 20 in per 1,000 in 2015 while it reduced to 18.4 in 2019,” he added.

Urging the expecting mothers to check up their health regularly and get advice from doctors in taking nutritious food, the heath minister said as per the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, midwifery service was introduced at 59 Zila Sadar hospitals, 68 Mother and Children Welfare Centres and 132 Upazila Health Complexes.

He said the ‘Demand Side Financing Maternal Health Voucher Scheme’ has been introduced to reduce maternal mortality rate and mange complication during pregnancy and ensure emergency maternal healthcare.

Malek said the present government has taken initiatives to recruit manpower to increase institutional services in health sector, build new hospitals, increase beds of hospitals and ensure supply of necessary medicines and equipment to hospitals.

As per the announcement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said midwifery was introduced here aiming to build 3,000 midwives. “After a six-month training, 1,600 nurses have already received certified midwife certificate and they have been working at upazila and union parishad levels,” the minister said.

Health Service Division Secretary Md Asadul Islam, Secretary of Medical Education and Family Welfare Division GM Saleh Uddin and Director General of Directorate General of Health Services Dr Abul Kalam Azad were, among others, present at the press conference.