In Bangladesh, over the past decade there has been a
significant decline in infant and child mortality.
Control and prevention of diseases, such as measles,
poliomyelitis, and diphtheria along with widespread
use of ORS for diarrheal diseases have greatly
reduced childhood mortality and morbidity.
Bangladesh is on the verge of Polio eradication, and
has already achieved the elimination goal for
leprosy at the national level. People are living
longer; the average life expectancy at birth in
Bangladesh had increased to over 60 years in 2000.
Population continues, however, to grow at about 1.4
percent and TFR has remained around 3.3 for the last
several years. The maternal death ratio is still
high at over 300 per 100,000 live births.
While there has been substantial
progress in disease prevention and control and a
decline in childhood communicable diseases, new and
old infectious diseases, such as malaria,
tuberculosis and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
(AIDS) are important threats to health for the years
ahead. Projections are uncertain because of the
potential of travel and trade, urbanisation,
migration and microbial evolution to amplify these
diseases. The emergence of drug resistant malaria
and tuberculosis further increases the risk.
Non-communicable diseases are a heterogeneous group
that includes major causes of death, such as heart
diseases, diabetes and cancer, and disability, such
as mental disorders. These are also on the rise in
Malnutrition is a major cause of
death and debility in children in Bangladesh.
Micro-nutrient deficiency is quite common; nearly 75
per cent of children's life is spent in illness
mostly due to malnutrition related debility and
infections. Poor nutrition deters physical,
cognitive and mental development. Low birth weight
and malnourished children are susceptible to
infections; roughly two-thirds of under-five deaths
are attributed to malnutrition, 75 per cent of it
being associated with mild and moderate
malnutrition. About 25 per cent of maternal deaths
are associated with anemia and haemorrhage. Women
and adolescent girls mostly suffer from Anemia owing
to iron deficiency.
Demographic and Health Survey 2004,
National Institute of
Population Research & Training (NIPORT), Ministry of
Health & Family Welfare, GoB; Mitra and Associates,
Bangladesh; MEASURE/DHS+, Macro International Inc.,
Calverton, Maryland, USA. September, 2004.