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Twenty-seven health facilities bag awards for excellence in Emergency Obstetric Care services

DHAKA, June 12, 2010. A total of 27 health facilities from seven divisions will receive best performance award tomorrow (Sunday) during the commemoration of the Safe Motherhood Day for their excellence in imparting comprehensive emergency obstetric care (EmOC).

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will distribute the awards among the recipient institutions as the Chief Guest at a programme to be held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.

In Bangladesh, 32 mothers die each day due to child birth related complications and only one in five deliveries is assisted by a skilled birth attendant. Ensuring round-the-clock quality Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) in designated health facilities is, therefore, the key to saving lives of both women and newborns. Besides, identification of pregnancy-related complications in the community and timely referral to a facility are crucial.

From each division, one District Hospital, one Upazilla Health Complex (UHC) under Directorate General of Health Services and One Mother and Child Welfare Centre (MCWC) under Directorate General of Family Planning will each receive an award.

In addition, three UHCs under the Demand Side Financing (DSF) scheme for the poor pregnant women have been selected for providing EmOC services. Another three upazilla health facilities, which have only basic emergency obstetric care (EOC), bagged awards for performing highest number of institutional deliveries.

The best performing award for Emergency Obstetric Care was introduced in 2004. The Directorate of Health Services is implementing the EmOC programme in 191 heath facilities, which include 59 district hospitals (DHs), 132 UHCs with the support of UNICEF. 
 “The observation of the Safe Motherhood Day is a commitment of the present government towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 5 relating to maternal health by 2015. The government is also making conscious efforts to increase skilled birth attendants at all levels. The recognition of the health facilities through giving awards will act as an incentive and help promote better services in future, thus saving the lives of mothers and newborns”, said Director General of Health Services Prof. Shah Monir Hossain.

UNICEF has been providing support to the Government of Bangladesh to improve Emergency Obstetric Care since 2000 through establishing Women Friendly Hospitals, addressing gender disparities, and creating awareness on safe motherhood at the community level. 

 “The high number of maternal deaths in Bangladesh is both a social injustice and a violation of women’s rights. In addition, a recent study from Bangladesh has shown that the death of a child’s mother massively reduces the chances of a child’s survival. Therefore, accelerated progress is required urgently to improve maternal and newborn health,” said Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative.

The selection of the facilities for the award was done on the basis of four indicators. These include proportion of all births at institutions, number of complicated obstetric cases managed, percentage of Caesarian Section as proportion of all deliveries and case fatality rate.

Experts in the field expect that awards and recognitions for institutional and professional excellence will act as a strong incentive for the lower performing health facilities to enhance the quality of their services.

For more information, please contact:

Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury
Communication Officer
UNICEF Bangladesh
+880 2 9336701, Ext: 7028



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