Bangladesh has seen impressive progress in health and nutrition in the last few decades.
Initiatives to prevent illness have substantially reduced six vaccine-preventable and diarrhoeal diseases that killed hundreds of thousands of children even two decades ago. Malnutrition has been steadily declining by 1-2 per cent each year, though the level remains high.
Since 1997 the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in children has been sustained below the threshold that indicates a public health problem. This is largely due to the high coverage of vitamin A supplementation.
The infant mortality rate (IMR) declined from 87 per 1,000 live births in 1989 to 56 per 1,000 live births in 2001. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR) also dropped from 133 to 82 per 1,000 live births over the same period.
The total fertility rate (TFR), contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) and birth-spacing have all improved, and trends are generally positive.