Bangladesh has made impressive progress in many of the health-related indicators over the past few decades. However, challenges still remain. Although Bangladesh is one of the few countries to achieve its Millennium Development Goal in reducing childhood mortality well ahead of 2015, the decline in under-five mortality has stalled in recent years. Maternal mortality ratio also fell sharply between 2001 and 2010, but has stagnated at 196 maternal deaths per 1,000 live births since then. Now half of the child births take place in health facilities compared to 17 percent just a decade ago, but health facilities are not fully prepared to provide quality health services. In response, INSAF focuses on improving maternal and child health, expanding family planning and reproductive health, integrating family planning and nutrition into basic health care, and strengthening public health systems to improve the quality and availability of services across the country.
Improving Maternal and Child Health
To continue gains made in maternal and child health, INSAF trains community health workers and clinic staff to help them provide high-quality care during childbirth. INSAF also teaches health workers to use a simple resuscitation device to prevent asphyxia during birth and apply antiseptic to babies’ umbilical cords to prevent infection. INSAF outreach and mobile health initiatives encourage pregnant women and their families to ensure they attend antenatal checkups and give birth under the supervision of a skilled health worker.
Expanding Use of Family Planning
While more than half of all Bangladeshi couples use modern methods of contraception, the Bangladesh government aims to increase contraceptive use to 72 percent. To this end, INSAF works with local partners to ensure that men, women, and couples have access to high-quality reproductive health services. INSAF developed a public awareness strategy to promote the benefits of family planning, proper birth spacing, and contraceptives. INSAF also conducts research to evaluate family planning programs and utilize innovative technology to maximize reach and efficiency in providing reproductive health services.
Integrated Health Care Services
Sixty-two percent of all Bangladeshi couples use contraception, and the Bangladesh government aims to increase contraceptive use to 75 percent. To this end, INSAF works with local partners to ensure that men, women, and couples have access to high-quality reproductive health services. INSAF developed a public awareness strategy to promote the benefits of family planning, birth spacing, and contraceptives.
Strengthening Health Systems and Governance
INSAF assists Bangladesh to strengthen its public health systems with an emphasis on improving primary health care delivery at the community level. At the national level, INSAF programs work with public health leaders to improve policy and planning, financial management, monitoring and evaluation, procurement, and logistics.