WHO launches initiative to reduce maternal mortality


The initiative on "Strengthening National Menstrual Regulation Programme for Reduction of Maternal Mortality and Morbidity in Bangladesh" was officially launched yesterday, 23 June 2008, in Dhaka.

The objective of this initiative is to ensure quality of MR services and its availability to underserved groups. A Challenge Fund of $2.73 million, established with the funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation, will support innovative proposals that address delivery of quality MR services, demand-side barriers and improving knowledge and evidence base for MR policy and programme directions. WHO has invited interested NGOs working on MR, professional and research institutions to submit concept notes and project proposals. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process.

WHO will provide support to the Government of Bangladesh in its in-built stewardship role in the MR programme implementation as well as the partner MR NGOs and institutions during the implementation of the projects under the Challenge Fund. The latter will include individual advisory support as well as quality assurance of project design through independent review committees.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Mr AKM Zafar Ullah Khan, launched the new initiative.

The WHO Representative in Bangladesh,  Dr Duangvadee Sungkhobol,  reiterated her pledge  to continue its support of the Government  of Bangladesh, as a technical agency, and help generate valuable  data and evidence for policy-makers, and subsequently work on producing norms, standards, policies, and strategies related to MR and the broader issue of reproductive health, for ensuring  better health of Bangladeshi women.

Dr Fritz Meijndert, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of the Netherlands, said that the Government of Netherlands has made available funds for the initiative as a reflection of its commitment and support to Bangladesh, in its prioritized endeavor to address the leading causes of maternal morbidity and mortality.

Dr Mohammed Abul Faiz, Director-General of Directorate General of Health Services, also spoke at the official function, which was chaired by Dr.Quomaran Nessa Khanam, Director- General of the Directorate-General of Family Planning.


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