Countdown is working in Bangladesh and six other countries to understand the drivers of the major declines in maternal and newborn mortality over the past decades, as part of the Global Health Exemplars studies of Gates Ventures. The Countdown exemplar study in Bangladesh is a partnership between icddr,b and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All the Countdown exemplar studies have a similar mixed methods design.
Background: Rapid Decline in Maternal and Newborn Mortality
Bangladesh has experienced one of the fastest declines in both maternal and neonatal mortality since 2000, when compared with its South Asian neighboring countries or countries in other regions with similar economic status. The maternal mortality ratio reduced 60% from 2000-2017, an average annual decline of 5.4%. From 2000-2019, neonatal mortality reduced 55%, with an annual reduction of 4.2%. During this time period, Bangladesh also saw a notable reduction in poverty levels, yet the mortality reductions outpaced other countries with similar economic improvements.