Around 5,200 women in Bangladesh die each year due to pregnancy and childbirth related problems, making up eight percent of the total deaths among women of reproductive age.
"Currently, 5,200 maternal deaths occur annually in the country making up eight percent of total deaths among women of reproductive age," according to a United Nations Population Fund (Unfpa) report disclosed in Dhaka recently.
The Unfpa representative in Bangladesh, Argentina Matavel Piccin in the report put emphasis upon midwifery in the country for ensuring safe birth of children and good health of mothers during delivery.
"83,100 babies are stillborn and there are 76,000 neonatal deaths every year. Skilled birth attendance at delivery is 42%, institutional delivery is 38%," she added.
Therefore, the Unfpa sought more attention on education, retention and professional development of the midwives also, so that the pregnancy and childbirth related problems are drastically reduced.
Terming midwives the heartbeat of maternal and newborn health, Director General of Health Services Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad said: "We are looking into how midwifery in Bangladesh can be improved to make sure mothers and babies receive the professional care they require."
We also need further increase in our efforts to ensure women come to facilities to deliver, we are not yet up to the mark, he added.
He expressed the government's desire to deploy Midwives up to the Union level to increase the quality of maternal health service delivery.
In terms of maternal health, global evidence shows that midwives deliver the most effective sexual reproductive, maternal and newborn health interventions, and are able to avert over 80% of the maternal deaths in countries like Bangladesh.