Project information

Healthy mums and babies in Bangladesh

We have set up 194 women's groups to ensure 20,000 women and their babies in Bogra district get quality healthcare. Our women's groups have been scientifically proven to improve maternal and newborn health - they can reduce newborn deaths by 33% and maternal deaths by around a half.

July 2014 - December 2016

Charity information: Women and Children First UK

Women and Children First UK logo
  • Need


    Despite recent impressive economic growth rates, Bangladesh ranks 142 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index. 45% of the population lives below the poverty line.

    Bangladesh has the sixth largest number of newborn deaths globally and the national maternal mortality rate remains high. Two significant factors contribute to this:

    • Around 71% of births in Bangladesh occur at home
    • Only 36% of women giving birth have the support of a skilled birth attendant


    With our local partner, the Perinatal Care Project, we have set up women's groups to raise awareness of how to look after themselves during pregnancy and childbirth - to eat well, get antenatal and postnatal care and give birth in a health centre. Women will be supported to successfully address problems such as not having money to pay for medicines or not knowing when a baby must see a doctor. We will also advocate for improvements in the quality of health services for mothers & babies

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To empower rural women to access quality maternal and newborn health services


    » Women's in groups will be empowered to recognise and address maternal and newborn health challenges and access appropriate care
    » Ensure women are referred to appropriate antenatal, delivery and postnatal health services
    » Increase the capacity of the local partner, the Perinatal Care Project, to advocate for accessible, quality maternal and newborn services

    Success will be reaching 28,000 women diectly through the groups. Group self-evaluation will show each has successfully delivered at least 5 solutions to priority health problems

  • Impact


    The project will increase best practice in caring for women and babies in the community and in health facilities. Harmful traditional practices - such as feeding a newborn baby cow's milk - will be addressed and result in long-term, sustainable changes. Women will pass on their newly gained knowledge to the next generation. The wider community including traditional leaders and gate-keepers (husbands, mothers in law) will be included into the project thus ensuring a whole community approach.


    There are no significant risks attached to this project as it uses a tried and tested approach and will be delivered by a highly experienced local partner. Two risks which we cannot control are the political situation which can prevent in-country travel and the climate as flooding can hold up project activities. We have encountered these problems in the past and addressed them by pausing activities for some days or weeks until it is possible to work properly again.


    This kind of project takes 2-3 years to achieve final results, but ongoing progress will be announced on our website - - and our facebook and twitter pages. Donors can sign up to receive e-newsletters with the latest news on our work in Bangladesh and elsewhere.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £274,826

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £49,008 Field activities Women's group and community meetings, advocacy activities, staff training
      £123,919 Staff costs Staff are the key to this project's success. Project personnel in Bangladesh and UK
      £61,987 Admin & capital costs Project admin and overheads UK & B'desh, computers, office furniture in B'desh, field work materials
      £39,912 Monitoring and evaluation Local M&E and Women and Children First's monitoring visits, dissemination

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Department for International Development £249,824 Guaranteed
    CB and HH Taylor 1984 Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
    Evan Cornish Foundation £3,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Bangladesh is a densely populated country of 150 million people. Bogra district has a total population of 3.5m and the majority live in remote rural areas. The female literacy rate of 45% is below the national average of 49%. The district has poor maternal and newborn health and the use of health services is low. Women and their families lack awareness and knowledge of health issues Medical facilities.lack trained health staff and adequate supplies of medicines and equipment.


    The project will directly benefit 20,449 women + 5,500 newborns in rural areas where poverty is greatest. It will also benefit 35,499 others as women in groups will share their new knowledge with girls and older women. Maternal and newborn health and mortality statistics in the district are worse than the Bangladesh averages. There are no projects similar to ours in the project area.The work will impact on poverty during the project lifetime and in the future as changes will be sustainable

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Women and Children First has worked successfully with the Perinatal Care Project since 2002. We have collaborated on projects in Bogra and another two districts which showed that the women's groups approach reduced newborn mortality by 38% and improved maternal and newborn health. We know the district well and want to bring the success and learning from previous work to areas in the district which have not had the benefit of women's groups.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    The Perinatal Care Project (PCP)

    PCP will lead on implementing the women’s groups, improving referrals to health centres and delivering in-country advocacy,

Happy mum, healthy baby

Happy mum, healthy baby


For a facilitator to run a group for 30 women

I am happy that my baby is growing well ...according to the advice of members of women’s group.