Health Profile

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Health Profile According to the 2001 census in Bangladesh, 45 percent of the population is below 15 years of age, 52 percent is between 15 and 64 years, and 3 percent is aged 65 years or more. By 2001, the number of married women of reproductive age rose to about 31 million. Although infant (82/1000 live births), under five (116/1000 births) and maternal mortality (about 5/1000 birth) rates are declining, they are still high. Half of the babies born in Bangladesh are of low birth weight (LBW). Among new borns, 30% receive supplemental foods or feeds when they are less than two months of age. Diarrhoea, respiratory ailments, and some form of fever are common types of young childhood illnesses. Over 50% of children aged less than five years show evidence of stunted growth.

In Bangladesh, 73% of pre-school children are reported to be anaemic. Older children also manifest high prevalence of anaemia (40-74%). Most mothers (75%) do not receive antenatal care and 57% of the births are assisted by untrained traditional birth attendants. Like young children, malnutrition is also a serious problem of mothers in Bangladesh. Seventeen percent of mothers with children under five years are less than 145 cm in height, an indication of malnutrition. Many of them are acutely malnourished. A high prevalence (52-60%) of anaemia has been observed among women of reproductive age. At least 22 percent of women in rural Bangladesh suffer from reproductive tract infections (RTI). In addition to these problems, 10 percent of country's population have blindness, deafness, mental retardation, and other forms of physical disabilities. Disabled individuals including young children suffer from loss of productivity, depressive manifestation, loss of self-esteem, and consequently lead isolated humiliating lives.

Table  Establishments and other indicators (2008-2009).

Name of organisation 2008-2009
No. of Hospitals in Health Sector 589
No. of Non-Govt. Hospitals (Regtd by DGHS) 2271
No. of Beds in Health Sector 38171
No. of Beds in Private Sector (Regtd by DGHS) 36244
No. of Registered Physicians (April 2009) 49994
No. of Registered Dental Surgeon (April 2009) 3481
No. of Government Medical Colleges 18
No. of Private Medical Colleges 41
No. of Private Dental Colleges 11
No. of Private Institute of Health Technology 39
No of Personnel under DHHS (Sane-110144) 79896
No of Doctors under Health Services (Sane-19243) 12382
No of Registered Nurses (as on April 2009) 23729
No of Nurses in Public Sector 14377
No of Registered Mid-wives 22253
No of Trained Skilled Birth Attendence 5000
Population per Physicians 2860
Population per bed (Beds of Health Sector + Regtd. Private Hospital) 1860
Physician to Nurse Ratio 2.1
Population per Nurse 5720
Both sexes (2007-08) 66.9

Source  Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 2009.

The government adopted a new Health and Population Sector Strategy (HPSS) and launched a 5-year Health and Population Sector Programme (HPSP) in July, 1998. HPSP is a sector-wise programme approach for a package of essential health services. The strategy initiated the reorganisation of the Ministry of Health and Family Planning and unified separate health and family planning staffs for building greater capability for programme management and service delivery, and for decentralising management of health facilities. The essential service package focuses on improvements in the design, coverage (particularly) of unserved groups, and quality of reproductive health care, child health, and communicable disease control services.

A national health policy was framed in 1998 but awaits final approval and adoption. The 5-year HPSP has been undertaken in the light of the proposed health policy. [Maswoodur Rahman Prince]