The biggest victims of a poverty stricken country are its children. Bangladesh has a dismal track record when it comes to child health. Most children in the country suffer from acute malnutrition, especially in rural areas. The problem is further aggravated since Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with nearly 1,000 people per square kilometer. Although there has been considerable progress in the last 15 years, the child health problem in Bangladesh is being described as one of the severe in South Asia.
According to the latest UNICEF report, the mortality rate in children under five years old stands at an alarming 94 deaths per 1,000 live births. Malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, and injuries are contributing to the high rate of neonatal deaths in the country. Nearly one-half of all children below the age of five years are either underweight or stunted. The poor child health care facilities in the country means that most of these children aren’t properly vaccinated, exposing them to the threats of life-threatening diseases.
The lack of awareness among women in the country concerning basic issues relating to kids health is another key reason that results in the high mortality rate in children. Nurture and Touching Souls International, which is a non profit organization, have been extensively working in child health care, especially in areas to reach the poorest of the poor in society. Some of the salient features of the child health care campaign being run by Nurture and Touching Souls International are:
- Educating women on the basics of child health care, which includes things like the importance of breast feeding. This is a very challenging affair considering the high level of illiteracy in the country.
- Stressing on equal care for female children. Bangladesh’s track record on female children has been dismal, much like that of it’s South Asian neighbor, India. Nurture and Touching Souls International’s efforts have brought in positive changes in people’s approach to a female child.
- Making people, especially the parents, aware of the basic nutritional requirements of a child. Giving them the proper break down of the food items required to attain those minimum levels of nutrition.
- Running awareness campaigns on the importance of vaccination for the children in the country. It also provides free immunization programs.
- Touching Souls International is providing free reconstruction of cleft lip and cleft palate surgery for children and adults in different parts of the country.
- Nurture and Touching Soul International, a non profit organization gives regular counseling to pregnant women regarding childbirth and advises them on the required nutritional level during their pregnancy.
- Encouraging women to give birth with assistance from trained health personnel and in a health facility. In absence of a proper medical facility, experienced midwives or trained birth attendants should be present during the child birth.
In recent years, there has been some improvement as far as child health care is concerned, but Bangladesh has a long way to go to achieve the minimum nutritional and other health levels in children. Touching Souls International however has been encouraged seeing signs of change, especially in Halishahar, Chittagong.
Though Child health care is in a dismal state in Bangladesh, Nurture and Touching Souls Interernational has been extensively working to improve the condition of child health in Nurture Hospital, Chittagong, Bangladesh by providing free child health care 5 days in a week.