Rising maternal and neonatal mortality rates: The harsh reality of home births

Rising maternal and neonatal mortality rates: The harsh reality of home births

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Nearly twenty days before the death of Alpha’s baby, Razia Sultana (21), a member of the SAAF champion women’s football team, died of excessive bleeding after giving birth to a baby at her home in Lakshminathpur in Satkhira’s Kaliganj upazila on the morning of March 14.

Her death has brought to light issues such as the high rate of home births, ignorance of pregnant women and their families, lack of government initiative and negligence in seeking antenatal care at least four times across the country.

Safe Motherhood Day was celebrated on Tuesday, May 28, with the aim of raising awareness in such situations of maternal and newborn child deaths. This year the theme of this day is 'Give birth in a hospital, save the life of mother and child'.

According to a report titled 'Key Findings of BBS Sample Vital Statistics 2023' published by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in March this year, the rate of home births is still around 33 per cent.

Meanwhile, the rate of receiving antenatal care four or more times is only 39 percent. 20 newborns under one month of age are dying per 1,000 live births, while 136 mothers are dying per 100,000 (1 lakh) live births.

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