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Monday, July 6, 2015, Ashar 22, 1422 BS, Ramadan 18, 1436 Hijr

BD makes progress in children welfare but disparities remain: Survey
Published : Monday, 6 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 7

Though remarkable progress being made in many areas for the wellbeing of children in Bangladesh but widespread disparities remain between households from different geographical regions, rural and urban areas, households with different wealth and education levels of mothers, said a recent survey report.
The complete results of the 2012-13 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), 'Progotir Pathey', was presented at an event on Sunday with Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal as the chief guest. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and Unicef conducted the survey.
M.A. Mannan, MP, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning, Kaniz Fatema ndc, Secretary, Statistics and Informatics Division (SID), were present as the special guest while Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative, as the guest of honour and Mohammad Abdul Wazed, Director General, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics chaired the occasion.
"The results clearly show remarkable progress made in Bangladesh over the last few years in improving conditions for children, but it also highlights important disparities that need to be addressed", said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative.
The present survey covered a total of 79 social indicators, of which 16 are Millennium Development Goal (MDG) indicators. Though the country as a whole made progress in child survival and education, timely initiation of breastfeeding, reduction of child and infant mortality, pre-school attendance rate and school retention rate remains a challenge, said the report.
For instance, while overall 42 per cent under-5 children were stunted in the country, more than half of the children from the poorest households (52.8 per cent) as compared to 27 per cent of children from the richest group, were stunted, it said.  Eastern districts show higher levels of stunting with Meherpur having the least and Netrokona with highest proportion of stunted children. Similarly, while 43.5 per cent of births are attended by a skilled health personnel during delivery, mothers from the poorest household get the services in only 26.5 per cent cases as compared to 72.8 per cent of mothers from the richest households.
Prevalence of child marriage continues to be high with about 52.3 per cent of women of age 20-24 getting married before the age of 18 years, and 18.1 per cent getting married before 15 years.
Seventy-seven per cent of the population of country use improved sanitation facilities and only about four per cent practice open defecation.
There are, however; significant differences in the use of improved sanitation facilities between the richest (95.9 per cent) and the poorest households (45.6 per cent). Among the districts Madaripur in Dhaka and Bandarban in Chittagong divisions are the best and the worst districts in this regard.
The survey was conducted in all 64 districts in Bangladesh by the BBS with technical assistance from UNICEF, from December 2012 to April 2013 engaging a total of 224 field survey personnel who collected data from 51,895 households.     ?UNB

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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