SOUTH ASIAN JOURNAL OF POPULATION AND HEALTH; Vol - 2, No - 1

NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF UNDER-5 CHILDREN IN BANGLADESH

Written by:AZIZUR RAHMAN & SOMA CHOWDHURY BISWAS

Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) is a major health problem in Bangladesh and it affects the physical growth and logical development of children. Data from the 1999-2000 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) was used in this study to explore nutritional status of children aged 0-59 months. The prevalence of malnutrition is assessed by three standard anthropometric indicators: underweight, stunting and wasting, following the WHO guidelines and cut-off points. The distributions of Z-scores for the study children showed considerably far downward distributions for all indicators from the reference population mean zero. In addition, total stunting, wasting and underweight were observed in 44%, 10% and 47% (among them 18%, 1% and 13% were severely stunted, wasted and underweight) of the children respectively and the trends in prevalence of malnutrition are increasing after the 1999-2000 BDHS. The study points out that, malnutrition is one of the most critical components for child health that affects almost 56.5% Bangladeshi children. Reassessment of current policies and further appropriate interventions should be formulated to improve socioeconomic and maternal conditions to reduce the overall burden of malnutrition.

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICE FACILITIES FOR MEN IN THE UNION LEVEL

Written by:MHAMMED AHSANUL ALAM, SHARIF MOHAMMED ISMAIL HOSSAIN, NASIMUL GHANI & MOHAMMAD ARIF SATTAR

In Bangladesh reproductive health programs have been focused primarily on women. Men are not traditionally aware of the issues concerning their reproductive health. Existing service delivery systems do not cater to the needs of most -men residing in rural areas of Bangladesh and most men lack critical information on reproductive health issues. Like other developing countries, in Bangladesh men are often the key decision-makers regarding reproductive health issues. Several population indicators have improved significantly in the past four decades due to the successful implementation of its health and population programs through the existing health and family welfare infrastructure. However, recent data reveal that advances in some of these indicators have leveled off and that men and women still have important unmet reproductive health needs. There is a growing understanding in both national and international public health community about (lie fundamental role of gender in reproductive health decision-making, importance of male involvement and male reproductive health needs. The study findings indicated that reproductive health services for men could be easily integrated into the UHFWCs without affecting the female and child health care services of the centres/clinics. Moreover, most of the female clients do not bother about the presence of male clients in the centres. Men were found to be willing to use the services within existing time of the clinics. Both male and female clients could be served from the same facility without affecting each other. A clinical training along with theoretical training is necessary for the service providers to equip them with updated knowledge and skills in order to diagnose and treat RTI/STI clients effectively and efficiently. It is also evident from the study that awareness promotion activities were successful in increasing the number of males who came to the UHFWCs for health care particularly for reproductive health services.

SAFE MOTHERHOOD IN BANGLADESH: HEALTH SEEKING BEHAVIOUR OF THE PREGNANT WOMEN

Written by:KHALED HUSSAIN & M. KABIR

Despite substantial decline in infant and child mortality in Bangladesh during the last few decades, and a number of activities to reduce maternal mortality, a decline in maternal mortality is yet to be observed. Despite the health reforms of recent years in Bangladesh, inadequate progress has been made to promote health environment, especially in terms of maternal health, as the health seeking of women during pregnancy and childbirth is very low. The study examined the factors influencing the antenatal and postnatal care seeking behaviour of the pregnant women in Bangladesh. Data obtained from Bangladesh Maternal Health Services and Maternal Mortality Survey (BMMS) 2001 were used in this study and multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out to explore the impact of a number of demographic and socio-economic characteristics in receiving antenatal and postnatal care among the pregnant women. Results of the study showed that despite the extensive coverage of health care infrastructure across the country, antenatal care and postnatal care receiving were low- only 48 percent of the pregnant women in Bangladesh received antenatal care and only 16.3 percent of them received postnatal care. The study also found that uneducated and poorest pregnant women were at greatest risk of not receiving antenatal and postnatal care. Age, religion, type of area, education and economic status of women were the significant predictors of not receiving antenatal and postnatal care.

SON PREFERENCE AND ITS EFFECT ON CONTRACEPTIVE USE IN RAJSHAHI DISTRICT OF BANGLADESH

Written by:MD. ISMAEL TAREQUE, MD. MOSTAFIZUR RAHMAN & MAHMUDUL ALAM

The article examines whether the composition of surviving children influences future fertility intentions; it also examines the effect of son preferences if any, on contraceptive use in Rajshahi district of Bangladesh. This study is based on the data collected from a survey of 600 ever-married women in sub-urban areas and 600 ever-married women in rural areas of Rajshahi district. In both areas son preference is pervasive and the women with one or more sons would be more likely not to want additional children than those women who did not have any son. The rural women were more dependent on their husbands than urban women. It also reveals that son preference had a consistently adverse effect on the use of contraception. The multivariate logistic analysis revealed that younger women were more likely to use contraception than their older counterparts. This study also showed that employed women were more likely to use contraception than the unemployed counterparts.

BIRTH SPACING AND FERTILITY IN BANGLADESH

Written by:SALEHIN KHAN CHOWDHURY and M. NURUL ISLAM

Birth spacing is an important measure of the pace of child bearing. Differentials in fertility in a population are usually attributed to variation in the exposure to the risk of pregnancy and the interval between births when exposed. Hence for a complete understanding of the process of family building, an attempt has been made in the present study to analyze the birth spacing pattern, its differentials, covariates and quantum and tempo of fertility in Bangladesh. The results clearly indicate that, the quantum of fertility is very high in Bangladesh followed by son preferences.

PERCEPTIONS OF CONSUMERS AND SELLERS ON CHEMICAL MIXED HAZARDOUS FOOD ITEMS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON HEALTH

Written by:TAMGID AHMED CHOWDHURY & MASUD IBN RAHMAN

That water is mixed with milk is an open secret as is the fact that buffalo meat are being sold as beef. Everybody seems to have accepted these as unwelcome facts of life. But mixing dangerous chemicals is something that is most pernicious and a one hundred per cent criminal act. In Bangladesh one has to learn to expect the unexpected. Hardly anybody knows for how long such practices have been going on. Many of these chemicals are carcinogens and the health risks are, to put it mildly, serious. It seems that some people will stoop to the lowest level to make some quick money. While we do not deny anybody's right to make money, nobody can be allowed to do so by endangering public health. The strictest punishment need to be meted out to them. But it seems that more often than not the perpetrators go scot-free. The law itself is archaic and lax. And that has made them bolder and they are inventing newer ways to dupe the public. This writing will highlight the perceptions of consumers as well as the sellers towards the hazardous chemical mixed foods to get a clear image of the public opinion.

SLUM WOMEN AND ANTENATAL HEALTH PARADIGM: A CASE STUDY OF DHAKA CITY

Written by:SADANANDA MITRA & DHANESWAR C. SARKAR

Inclusive health intervention during pregnancy would foster the effectiveness of care in the Dhaka City women, in particular the women from unorganized settlements and lower economic stratum. The paper examines the paradigms of antenatal care among slum and non slum women in the Dhaka metro city in Bangladesh. The city plays a central role for all activities in this small country and in return it attracts considerable number of displaced migrants mostly due to natural disaster and economic crisis in the rural areas. These emerge slum settlements, a major urban issue. The quantitative cross sectional investigation from about four hundred women was on contents of antenatal care, effectiveness, history of pregnancy complication and preconception care. The finding of the analysis shows that although the level of antenatal care for slum women is almost close to the non slum women, the lower effectiveness for the first category crushed the level to the bottom and make a significance difference between these two groups in terms of utilization of pregnancy care. The services provided during utilization care which relate to payment like tests (pathological, ultrasound) are not uniform between these slum and non-slum women. The multivariate logistic regression shows that preconception care is a significant factor of antenatal care.

POPULATION PROJECTION OF BANGLADESH USING MCMC TECHNIQUE IN BAYESIAN INFERENCE

Written by:MD. MAHSIN & SYED SHAHADAT HOSSAIN

Populations projection of many developing countries could be quite a challenging task for the demographers mostly due to lack of availability of enough reliable data. The objective of this paper is to present an overview of the existing methods for population forecasting and to propose an alternative based on the Bayesian statistics, combining the formality of inference. This paper addresses selected methodological aspects of population forecasting of Bangladesh from 2001 to 2051 by analyzing the population data obtained from censuses of Bangladesh and East Pakistan from 1901 to 2001. A logistic growth curve has been used to fit these data and to make the projections of the population of Bangladesh between 2001 and 2051. The analysis has been made using. MCMC technique for Bayesian Inference available with the software WinBUGS. Convergence diagnostic techniques available with the WinBUGS software have been applied to ensure the convergence of the chains necessary for the implementation of MCMC.