The government has announced an initiative to increase the Special Care Newborn Unit (SCANU) services to curb the 90,000 newborn deaths in Bangladesh every year.
At the inauguration ceremony of a 15-bed scan unit at the Manikganj 500-bed General Hospital on Saturday, it was also said that most of the deaths happened within 24 hours of birth due to premature birth, respiratory distress, low birth weight, infection and pneumonia.
Addressing the event as the chief guest, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said 30 newborns die in every thousand in the country, while the sustainable development goal called for this number to be reduced to 12.
For this, the brand new SCANU services, named after Sheikh Russel, were being rolled out covering the entire country.
At present there are 61 SCANUs in 50 districts of the country serving one lakh newborns annually with plans in place to spread it across all 64 districts by 2030.
Professor Dr Shakil Ahmed, director, Mycobacterial Disease Control (MBDC) Unit of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said neonatal mortality could be reduced if the SCANU services were increased.
Professor Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the DGHS, said the services will be strictly monitored to ensure few disruptions and that equipment is not damaged.
Yearly health checkups in govt hospitals from next year
The government is going to launch an annual health checkup facility in public hospitals for citizens from next year, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
"A project has already been undertaken in this regard. If everything goes well, it will be possible to launch the service in January next year," said the minister.
He said people can get their health checkups done in government hospitals by paying for specific packages.