Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday said the government has introduced emergency healthcare services for 24 hours at 500 public healthcare centres to reduce child and maternal mortality rate in the country.
"We will introduce emergency healthcare services at 400 more health centres in phases," the minister said.
He made the statement as he joined a discussion meeting organised on the occasion of "Family Welfare Service and Promotion Week" at Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall in the capital's Minto Road in the morning.
The health minister also emphasised on stopping early marriage, encouraging institutional delivery and introduction of emergency healthcare services round the clock to achieve the target of reducing child maternal mortality rate.
He said, "In Bangladesh, 65,000 children and 4,500 mothers die every year. Maternal mortality rate will be reduced by 70 percent by 2030 while children mortality rate will be cut by half during the same period."
Stating that the caesarean section has increased at an alarming rate in the country, the health minister said, "Many mothers are showing interest in caesarean delivery without any reason. "This is not desirable at all."
"Once the baby is delivered by caesarean section, the mother may have problems in delivering the baby later. She may suffer many other problems for life. It can't go on like this."
"We all need to work together to reduce the number of home deliveries and caesarean deliveries in the country by more than half," the minister said.
Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Prof. Dr. Md. Sharfuddin Ahmed, Director General of the Directorate General of Medical Education Professor Dr Tito Mia and senior officials of different relevant healthcare organisations addressed the discussion.