Save the Children launched its third annual – Global Childhood Report – on the occasion of its hundred year celebration of the founding day in 1919
Despite Bangladesh having several successes in child healthcare and rights issues, prevalence of adolescent mothers is still a matter of concern, said a recent study of Save the Children.
Some 84% of the adolescent brides become mothers before they become adults, according to the report, revealed at a press conference at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Save the Children launched its third annual – Global Childhood Report – on the occasion of its hundred year celebration of the founding day in 1919.
Ishtiaq Mannan, deputy country director of Save the Children Bangladesh, said they tried to find out what caused a child to lose its childhood.
“We made this research from secondary sources which are recognized by the respective governments and used comparative analysis methods,” he said.
For example, he continued, in Bangladesh they had considered the information from Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey and Belgian Statistical Society (BSS).
He said they set seven indicators for the grand total. Of those, child marriage is a crucial one.
Their study shows 32.4% of the adolescents in the country are married. Among them 84.4% gave birth to their first child before they completed their adolescent age.
Bangladesh reduces child mortality rate to 63%
Analyzing data of 176 countries in was found that every country has made substantial progress in reducing child mortality since 2000.
Bangladesh has achieved significant progress in reducing child deaths by an impressive 63% over the past 20 years, said the report.
Among the South Asian countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal have achieved great reductions in child mortality over the past two decades.
Of the four nations Bangladesh has made the most progress, with Bhutan’s child mortality rate down to 60%, Nepal 59% and India’s rate down to 57%.
However, the report said Bangladesh still stood 127 in the world despite having huge reduction of the child mortality rate for the children under the age 5 years.
Pneumonia major cause to child mortality rate
Dr. Ishtiaq Mannan, deputy country director of Save the Children in Bangladesh, said tackling Pneumonia remains a challenge, especially among remote rural communities and vulnerable children as it remains the leading cause of child death under the age of five years.
Citing the National Situation Analysis Report of Pneumonia 2018, conducted by Save the Children and UNICEF in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, he said most of other cause-specific mortality is declining while it is not similarly declined as expected for pneumonia specific mortality rate among under-5 children population in Bangladesh.
According to UN estimates of 2016, Pneumonia is responsible for 16% of total under five deaths and 30% among 12-59 months age groups.
“Poor children are twice as likely to die before the age of five than wealthy children,” he added.
Dr Sabbir Ahmed, an advisor to the Pneumonia Centenary Commitment, in his presentation said: “If anyone sees the data, it might appear that the number of deaths has decreased since 2000, but the ratio is still almost the same (20% in 2000)) and 16% in 2018).”
“Although Bangladesh makes huge progress in immunization, still we see two children dying of pneumonia every two hours,” he mentioned.
"We need to act immediately with a proper action plan to reduce the deaths from pneumonia for the wellbeing of our own nation, he added.