The Unicef said newborns die largely due to preventable and treatable conditions.
Each year 62,000 newborns die in Bangladesh accounting for 7 newborns every hour, said the Unicef.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Unicef said newborns die largely due to preventable and treatable conditions.
According to the statement, despite great strides in achieving the target of Millennium Development Goal in reducing under-five mortality, the reduction in neonatal mortality remains a challenge.
The contribution of neonatal deaths to overall under-five mortality has increased over the years, which now stands at 59%.
Efforts need to be further accelerated to achieve Sustainable Development Goal target for Bangladesh of reducing newborn mortality to as low as 12 per 1,000 live births by the year 2030.
The press release said more than 80% of the neonatal deaths occur within 7 days of birth and 50% within first 24 hours, mostly at home and without a skilled birth attendant, while the major causes of neonatal mortality over the last 12 years remain the same.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the “National Campaign on Newborn Health” to improve the knowledge, behaviour and practices of people about essential newborn care and related services in Bangladesh.
“Unicef is a proud partner of the government in maternal and neonatal health efforts in Bangladesh,” said Edouard Beigbeder, Unicef representative.
He said: “I reaffirm Unicef’s commitment to support the Government of Bangladesh in its efforts to reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality to progress towards achieving sustainable development goal.”
Among many initiatives, incorporating a National newborn Health Programme (NNHP) in the operational plans of the new Health Sector Programme (2017-2022) is one of major steps by the government in advancing maternal, neonatal and child health services.
With Unicef’s support the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also promotes improved home and community based newborn care, behaviour and practices in 25 low performing districts of Bangladesh, covering the most deprived population.
Upgrading facilities with provision of Special Care Newborn Units (SCANU) for sick newborns in 32 hospitals and Newborn Stabilizing unit in upazila health complex are also mention worthy steps.
To further strengthen maternal, neonatal and child health services the discussants at the launching ceremony focussed on sensitizing the community about the services and the key messages to save newborns with simple effective practices.
State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque, Health and Family Welfare Ministry Secretary Faiz Ahmed, Director General of Health Services, Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad, among others, were present at the launching ceremony.