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

Marge Koblinsky, Iqbal Anwar, Malay Kanti Mridha, Mahbub Elahi Chowdhury, Roslin Botlero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-294
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Bangladesh
  • Maternal health
  • Maternal mortality
  • Obstetric care
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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