Under-five mortality rate in Bangladesh is 32 per 1000 live births, according to new mortality estimates released by Unicef, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group on Thursday.
It has significantly reduced from 532,000 deaths in 1990 to 100,000 in 2017. Among them, little over half are newborns, who die in the first 28 days of their lives.
The government has taken multiple initiatives to address the gaps in newborn care, such as launching National Newborn Campaign to promote affordable interventions at community and household level for essential newborn care for all newborns.
Previously in September 2018, the government launched the National Newborn Health Programme that brings focus on the critical interventions to be scaled up in all 64 districts of the country.
To save the lives of the sick and low-birth weight babies, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is partnering with Unicef and partners to establish Special Newborn Care Units (SCANUs) in Bangladesh.
The SCANUs provide specialised care for the sick and low-birth weight babies who are most vulnerable and bear the highest mortality risk.
An estimated 6.3 million under-15 children died in 2017 or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable causes, according to the new mortality estimates.
The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths.