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Reducing Maternal Mortality in Bangladesh

by Mary Ferreira

After filming the story on sexual harassment, the team captured material for an additional piece on United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 – reducing maternal mortality.

Bangladesh has had significant success in lowering the rate of deaths during childbirth, particularly in urban slums. BRAC, or the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was one of the key players contributing to this achievement.

Ruby with Newborn Baby

Ruby with Newborn Baby

Covering mainly urban slums and serving more than 350,000 women, Bangladesh is geared to achieve MDG 5 by 2015. That means a reduction of 5.4 percent in maternal deaths each year on average. Earlier this year, BRAC indicated that over the last nine years, maternal deaths dropped some 40% from 322 to 194 per 100,000 live births putting Bangladesh on track to meet MDG Five.

The film crew followed health care workers in one of Dhaka’s slums to document their work in teaching women how to stay healthy during pregnancy and care for their newborns. BRAC told UNTV Producer, Mary Ferreira, that it intends to partner with the United Nations Population Fund to recruit more midwives to enhance its team of skilled birth attendants.

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