Bangladesh – health profile

At nearly 160 million inhabitants and a landmass just twice the size of New Brunswick, Bangladesh is a densely populated country. An abundance of cheap labour has fueled rapid growth, with Bangladesh aspiring to be a middle income country by 2021.

But many are left behind. Almost two in five children under age five are stunted, a consequence of poor nutrition early in life that affects a child’s ability to develop and learn. Also critical in Bangladesh is gender inequality. Women’s wages are as low as $1 a day, 66% of adolescent girls are in early marriages, and more girls are underweight compared to boys.

Tania Akter, 14, was forced to drop out of school about three years ago so she could provide for her younger sister and father.

Thakurgaon District – 1000 Day Journey focus area

Thakurgaon is a district in northwest Bangladesh, bordering India. A largely agricultural area, it has struggled economically for years, hampered in part by long distances to the market and investment sources of the capital, Dhaka.

Community surveys show that 39 percent of children under age 5 are stunted. Low birthweights are chronic, at 25 percent of live births. 1000 Day Journey will target health interventions for women and children under age two. We’ll work closely with local government officials to strengthen services in ways that are sustainable, and promote gender inclusive practices that empower women as agents of change.

Bangladesh Statistics

  • Gross National Income per capita (PPP): $ 3,342
  • Population: 161 million
  • Population under age 5: 15 million
  • Life Expectancy: 72 years
  • Stunting under age 5: 36 %
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio: 176/100,000
  • Under-5 Mortality Rate: 38/1,000

The Countries

The program is operating communities in five countries. Learn more about each country and community: