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Whither MDG 5 in Bangladesh and its regions?

Abstract

This paper analyses the trends and regional variations in the target achievement of MDG 5 of improving maternal health in Bangladesh. Based on the analysis of secondary data a comparison is made between the rate of progress required for each indicator of the goal to achieve its target by 2015 from 2000, the current rate of progress (between 2000 and 2011) and the rate of progress required between 2011 and 2015 to achieve the targets. The findings suggest a substantial difference among the regions with respect to the adopted indicators of improving maternal health. For example, consistent with the highest and lowest levels of maternal mortality ratio (MMR), the divisions (administrative regions) of Khulna and Sylhet respectively also have the highest and lowest percentages of births delivered in health facilities and assisted by skilled health personnel. However, the second highest percentage of births delivered in a health facility in Chittagong does not accord with its high MMR. This kind of variation reveals that overall improvement in MMR may not necessarily result in complete achievement of the goal of improved maternal health. Rather, there are some gaps and challenges in each region, which need to be addressed and acted upon accordingly. The findings of this paper contribute to knowledge about the persistence of regional inequalities in MDG 5 in Bangladesh, even if the goals are met at the national level. The findings will also be useful in preparing a road map for ensuring the health and wellbeing of all mothers in Bangladesh under the new Sustainable Development Goals.

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Fig. 1

Source NIPORT et al. (2003, p. 26), NIPORT et al. (2012, p. 36)

Fig. 2

Source Computed by the authors from data published in World Health Organisation et al. (2014, Annex 2)

Fig. 3

Source Computed by the authors based data from Table 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    Although the bars in Fig. 3 can be seen to duplicate the numbers in Columns 2 and 3 of Table 2, Fig. 3 is added here deliberately to provide a visual appreciation of the intensification of differentials in 2007–2010.

  2. 2.

    Girls in Bangladesh get married early. In 2014, 34% of women currently aged 20–49 years were married before they were 15 years of age (NIPORT et al. 2016, p. 41).

  3. 3.

    BMI is measured by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2). In broad terms a BMI of less than 18.5 indicates under-weight, a BMI between 18.5 and 25 indicates normal or healthy weight, a BMI of 25 or above indicates overweight and a BMI of 30 or above indicates obesity (Hellen Killer International 2001. p. 2).

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewers whose comments helped improve the quality of the paper and to Dr. Cecile Cutler for her help with editing the final draft.

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Correspondence to Sanzida Akhter.

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Akhter, S., Dasvarma, G. Whither MDG 5 in Bangladesh and its regions?. J Pop Research 34, 279–301 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12546-017-9185-4

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Keywords

  • MDGs
  • Maternal health
  • Maternal mortality ratio
  • Bangladesh
  • SDGs