Bangladesh makes overall good progress in achieving MDGs: survey

BBS to be recast for generating reliable info in time
Bangladesh has made good progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) even though there are huge disparities in education, child and maternal health among its 64 districts.

The five best performing districts are Jhenidah, Meherpur, Munshiganj, Panchagarh and Narayanganj while the worst performing ones are Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Sunamganj, Khagrachhari and Bandarban, said a survey report revealed at a workshop on Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) Bangladesh at a city hotel.

It shows that there is a huge gap between the best and the worst performing districts for those nine indicators related to education, child health, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation.

The survey says that Sherpur, the worst performing district in the case of child mortality had 102 deaths for every 1000 live births while the best performing one, Pabna, recorded only 43 per 1000, and the national average is 67 per 1000 live births.

Speaking on the occasion, Planning Minister AK Khandker said the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) will be recast so that it can generate reliable information in time for planners and other users.

“We’re actively considering reorganizing BBS to strengthen it for generating timely and reliable information for planners and other users,” he added.

The BBS with support from Unicef conducted the MICS Survey from April to May 2009 interviewing 7,683 respondents.

Khandaker requested the BBS to enhance the coverage of its surveys to generate reliable data.

Unicef representative Carel de Rooy said the MICS report provided a solid baseline for the government to measure MDGs at all levels.

“It’s particularly important to take a close look at those data, as the government is now preparing its 6th National Development Plan and has the opportunity to target the most deprived areas with specific interventions and budget allocations in order to catch up with the rest of the country and achieve MDGs with equity,” he said.

On the proportion of skilled birth attendants, the survey showed that there is a huge disparity with 61 percent for the best performing district Meherpur while the worst performing Bandarban has only 8 percent.

About the net attendance rate in primary education, the difference is 30 percentage points between the best performing Meherpur (91 percent) and the worst performing Bandarban (60.6 percent).


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