Speakers at the program said more than 15 million babies were born with a low birth weight worldwide
Round the clock 24-hour labor, and delivery services will be provided to pregnant women, and expectant mothers at all government hospitals across the country, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said.
He was speaking at a program marking the World Prematurity Day 2019, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) yesterday, organized by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Zahid said: "We have to take steps to reduce premature death rate to 12 per 1000 live birth to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) by 2030. This can be achieved within two years if everyone associated with the health sector discharges their duties. In this regard, round the clock labor and delivery service for the pregnant and expectant mother will be provided at all government hospitals in the country."
Speakers at the program said more than 15 million babies were born with a low birth weight worldwide. Among all newborns, 31% deaths are due to preterm births.
They also emphasized on the need for expanded training of midwives and nurses to reduce newborn deaths. A midwife is a health professional who cares for mothers and newborns around childbirth, a specialization known as midwifery. The education and training for a midwife are similar to that of a nurse.
They said Kangaroo mother care (KMC) should be provided to every premature newborn. KMC refers to the practice of providing continuous skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, exclusive breast milk feeding, and early discharge from the hospital.
More than 80% of the world’s 2.5 million newborns who die every year are low birthweight because they are either born preterm and/or small for gestational age. Low birthweight babies who survive have a greater risk of stunting, as well as developmental and physical ill-health later in life, including chronic conditions such as diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Md Ashadul Islam, secretary , Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Sheikh Yusuf Harun , secretary, Medical Education and Family Welfare Division, Alam Ara Begum director general of the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery, Dr Bardan Jung Rana, representative from World Health Organization (WHO), Tomoo Hozumi, Unicef representative in Bangladesh, and senior officials from government and NGOs spoke at the program.