Reducing maternal mortality and improving maternal health: Bangladesh and MDG 5

J Health Popul Nutr. 2008 Sep;26(3):280-94. doi: 10.3329/jhpn.v26i3.1896.


Bangladesh is on its way to achieving the MDG 5 target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015, but the annual rate of decline needs to triple. Although the use of skilled birth attendants has improved over the past 15 years, it remains less than 20% as of 2007 and is especially low among poor, uneducated rural women. Increasing the numbers of skilled birth attendants, deploying them in teams in facilities, and improving access to them through messages on antenatal care to women, have the potential to increase such use. The use of caesarean sections is increasing although not among poor, uneducated rural women. Strengthening appropriate quality emergency obstetric care in rural areas remains the major challenge. Strengthening other supportive services, including family planning and delayed first birth, menstrual regulation, and education of women, are also important for achieving MDG 5.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Maternal Mortality / trends*
  • Perinatal Care / organization & administration
  • Perinatal Care / standards
  • Postnatal Care / organization & administration
  • Postnatal Care / standards
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / organization & administration
  • Prenatal Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Women's Health Services / standards*