© UNICEF Bangladesh/2008/Noorani
A new born baby is weighed in Chittagong division. Low-birth weight contributes to child mortality.
Infant mortality has improved, in 1990, infant mortality (under 1) was at 102 per 1,000 in 2009 this figure has decreased to 41 per 1,000. Unfortunately this figure remains high. With under-5 deaths still at 171,000 annually.
Many neonatal deaths are preventable and would not occur if mothers sought medical help throughout pregnancy, in the early stages of labor and during the first four weeks of their babies’ lives. Unfortunately, professional health care and advice is not always available. A lack of skilled health professionals and inadequate obstetric and neonatal care services across Bangladesh jeopardize the survival of the countries youngest children.
Care of newborns
New mothers and their families are often unaware of basic care practices – such as keeping newborns warm and breastfeeding immediately after birth ensuring good health and survival of children. In addition, parents routinely fail to recognize the danger signs that precede neonatal death. Reluctance to seek medical support for newborns means that only 20 per cent of children receive postnatal care from a trained provider during their first week of life.
Infection is the leading killer of neonates. Second is birth asphyxia, which causes one in every five neonatal deaths. Low-birth weight, often caused by poor maternal nutrition and teenage pregnancy, is the direct cause of 11 per cent of neonatal deaths.
Read about UNICEF initiatives to reduce infant mortality