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18 July, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Reducing maternal mortality

Safe maternity is a constitutional right

It is heartening to note that Bangladesh has made a significant progress in reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) from 569 in 1990 to 176 in 2015 with an average annual reduction of 4.7 per cent but still much need to be done, shows a recent survey. According to a report in this newspaper yesterday, the ratio of skilled birth attendants also increased from 12 per cent in 2000 to 42 per cent in 2014 and of these 37 per cent are institutional deliveries, according to the survey findings.

Safe maternity is a constitutional right of every mother. No good can be achieved ignoring this right. All will have to be inspired to ensure the safe maternity for all mothers. It's the responsibility of doctors, nurses and all others to help each other to achieve this goal. The senior health officers have to ensure the work of other workers and staff under his authority and also have to inspire them to work better.

Women constitute half of the total population of Bangladesh; development of the country greatly depends on them. Women have made significant contributions to various sectors of the country during the last few decades. Their involvement in the RMG industry has opened up a wide avenue for them. The present government has done a lot for the improvement of the lot of women but much more should be done. Despite all these, how much freedom and rights do women enjoy in a patriarchal and male-dominated society? How many women are conscious about their reproductive and sexual health? Discrimination and deprivation still stare them in the face.    

Vast womenfolk in urban and rural areas of the country are still leading sub-human life due to abysmal poverty, illiteracy, curse of early marriage, pangs of premature motherhood and dowry. Many hapless women have to earn for survival. Malnutrition is squeezing their life force.  Age-old superstition, ignorance, taboos and shyness dissuade many women from discussing their heath-related problems openly. Many women are suffering from complications due to absence of maintenance of menstrual hygiene.  

The government should take pragmatic measures to ensure women’s right to safe motherhood.  The government hospitals in cities and district towns and the health centres at remote areas can play the vital roles. Creation of massive awareness is also the prime need of the hour. Together with the government initiatives NGOs can also come forward in this regard.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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