Dhaka, Thursday, April 26, 2018

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Malnutrition major cause of premature child birth in country

DHAKA, March 23, 2018 (BSS) - About 4,46,900 lakh children were born prematurely in the country every year. Of them, around 23,600 children die before five years, according to UNICEF.

Chief of Health Department of UNICEF Ziaul Matin said Bangladesh is in the seventh position among the 10 countries with high rate of premature child birth.

One child among 10 are born prematurely in the country, he said, adding malnutrition has emerged a big health problem almost across the world, particularly in developing countries that need to be addressed on an urgent basis.

The UNICEF official said most of the developing countries are facing malnutrition and hunger problems, which ultimately is undermining development efforts of those countries.

Matin said mothers' malnutrition, diabetics, early marriage and smoking and environment pollution are the major causes of premature child birth.

Bangladesh Neonatal Forum President Tahmina Begum said Bangladesh has done remarkably well in bringing down malnutrition rate particularly stunting children in the past couple of years.

Malnutrition is still a major public health problem in the country as poor diet quality is undermining the efforts to improve nutritional status of the people, the health expert said.

Although Bangladesh has achieved self-sufficiency in food, it is still struggling to deal with malnutrition issues because of poor dietary practices, she said.

"At present, stunting rate among under-five children is 36, which was above 40 percent a few years ago. There are challenges for Bangladesh to address malnutrition problem as the country is facing higher under-nutrition rate compared to different developing states, she added.

Alongside focusing on the malnutrition issue, both developed and developing countries should focus on overall nutrition as it causes different non-communicable diseases including diabetes and heart ailments.

Experts said malnutrition is a country's specific problem. Every country has different magnitude of hunger and malnutrition problems.



"We have to work together to fight malnutrition and hunger problems considering different food security scenarios," they added.

The experts said Bangladesh has made a considerable progress in different fields of development. That is why Bangladesh is a model for many developing nations.

They said good governance and affirmative policy actions must be taken to increase earning of the poor people to fight hunger and malnutrition.