MATERNAL HEALTH IN BANGLADESH: AT A GLANCE
- Every hour 3 women die due to pregnancy or childbirth complications.
- Over 90% of women give birth at home at the hands of untrained attendants.
- The national average age of marriage for girls is 15 with first delivery at 18.
- 50% of women are considered to be at nutritional risk leading to underdevelopment of birth canals, anemia and more.
- There are 70,000 backlogged cases of obstetric fistula and 2,000 new cases each year.
- 72% of women live in rural areas where healthcare access is limited or non-existent.
HOPE’s Maternal Health Services
- Emergency Obstetric Care: The majority of women in rural Bangladesh do not have access to health care during delivery. HOPE provides a safe department with trained physicians to perform caesarian sections to both save the lives of mothers and babies when complications arise.
- Natural Delivery: At HOPE’s Hospital, women can go to the hospital to deliver their baby either because they have been identified to have potential complications or because they simply desire to have a secure, smooth delivery.
- Family Planning: Providing counseling and education in the field of family planning is crucial to HOPE’s aim of reducing maternal mortality. Through our family planning programs, women are educated as to the importance of being under a physician’s care while pregnant, the essential vitamins and adequate nutrition to maintain while pregnant, the importance of delaying pregnancy as opposed to beginning at an early age, birth spacing, and offered contraceptive options.
- Immunization: HOPE provides immunizations to women through the Bangladeshi Government supported immunization program.
- Mothers’ Clubs: To date HOPE has established 38 Mothers’ Clubs where mothers in the same villages congregate to discuss health complications, issues, questions and receive education on prevention and treatment for local diseases and prevalent illnesses. HOPE’s Mothers’ Clubs have been more than instrumental in referring patients to us and providing us unparalleled access to remote areas.
- Maternal Health Research Project: A component of our research and training program, HOPE, with its partner Medic Mobile, implemented our project Bangladesh Antenatal Care (BANC). In this project, 500 pregnant women were selected and divided into 2 groups. One group of 250 women visits HOPE’s Hospital for their antenatal check-ups. They also receive SMS or text messages reminding them of their appointments. The other group of women has a community health worker that visits them at their home and conducts their check-ups. HOPE is conducting research into the differences of the care, how receptive the women are to the varied care and what benefits the women most.