This project seeks to improve the health of the population in all districts of Bangladesh by strengthening the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s management of the public health care system and by improving public health services. The project forms the cornerstone of Canada’s support for achieving development objectives in the health sector in Bangladesh and its main focus is to help implement the Ministry’s Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Program. The project activities include: (1) improving the financial management of the Ministry’s aid budget; (2) procuring obstetric drugs and family planning supplies in low performing districts with high maternal, newborn and child mortality rates; (3) updating the regulatory framework for the accreditation of health personnel; (4) improving the planning, development and management of human resources for health; (5) increasing the availability of maternal health services; and (6) developing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation plan within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As with all pooled funding initiatives, Canada is working in close cooperation with other donors and the Government of Bangladesh to focus on effective, transparent, and accountable country systems; increase donor coordination and harmonization; and strengthen mutual accountability. This project is continuously monitored and evaluated in coordination with other donors, which include the World Bank, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Germany and the United States.
Results achieved as of December 2013 include: (1) the percentage of women attended by a skilled birth attendant increased from 32% in 2011 to 34.4% in 2013; (2) 25% of women met the minimum standard of four prenatal visits and 27.6% of women received post-natal care within 48 hours (up from 27% in 2011); (3) growth stunting in children under five went from 41% in 2011 to 38.7% in 2013 and the percentage of underweight children fell from 36% to 35.1% over the same time period, indicating that nutrition is improving; (4) 62% of married couples practised family planning in 2013, up from 61% in 2011; (5) 81.9% of infants were immunized against measles by 12 months of age; and (6) 87% of children under five with pneumonia were treated with antibiotics (up from 71% in 2011). These results are contributing to improving the health and nutrition status of the population of Bangladesh, especially women and children under five. Source: the Utilization of Essential Service Delivery study (UESD) 2013 and the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011.