Bangladesh is going to launch a new programme today in a bid to reduce child mortality by 20% per 1,000 live births by 2035.
The move came after a Unicef programme in Washington DC, on June 14-15 of 2012 discussed the scopes to prevent child deaths and vowed to take necessary measures.
Some 175 countries including Ethiopia, India and Bangladesh joined the programme.
Bangladesh is one of the 175 signatories that committed to taking necessary steps to prevent the under-five child deaths by 2035.
Dr Abu Zafor Md Musa, director of Primary Health Care under Director General of Health Services, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that they were going to introduce a new programme to prevent child mortalities.
The programme includes increasing the number of skilled birth attendants, providing corticosteroid and cholorohexidine antibiotic vaccines and injections for premature newborns and kangaroo mother care etc.
Measles, rubella and pneumococcal vaccines and oral antibiotic to protect neonatal sepsis will also be introduced in the programme.
Dr Abu Zafor Md Musa said to end preventable child death means to provide children with a healthy start through giving pregnant mothers quality antenatal care and nutrition during pregnancy.
It means giving newborns a safe delivery, the ability to breathe in the first crucial moments of life, and proper nourishment to avoid stunting, he added.
Therefore, newborns are sheltered, breastfed, kept warm and shielded from diseases like HIV, Dr Musa mentioned.
At present, the under-five child mortality rate is 53 per 1,000 live births.
The target of Millennium Development Goals to contain child mortality by 2015 is 39 per 1,000 live births while by 2035 it is 20 per 1000 live births.
The number of skilled birth attendants is now 32%. Within 2016, the target is to increase SBA to 50% and by 2020 to 80%.
Dr Musa told the Dhaka Tribune: “If we can run the new programme successfully, we would be able to successfully prevent child deaths.”
Health Minister Ruhal Haque will launch the programme today at Rupashi Bangla hotel in the capital.