Maternal and Child Survival in Haor Region in Bangladesh. An Analysis of Fathers' Capabilities to Save the Future

Barnali Chakraborty, Shrinivas Darak, Hinke Haisma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Downloads (Pure)


Maternal and child survival is a major public health problem in haor areas in Bangladesh. Fathers feel responsible as expressed by their capability "to save the future". Using the Capability Framework for Child Growth, we aimed to identify what contextual factors underlie a father's real opportunities to secure a safe delivery, including social norms and beliefs. Parents from households having children less than two years old were asked to participate in two rounds of qualitative research. In total, 25 focus group discussions and eight in-depth interviews were conducted. Late admission to health facilities emerged as the overarching disabling factor for fathers' capability to save the lives of mothers and children. Poor communication about the mother's health condition between spouses and fear for caesarean birth were underlying this late admission. In addition, inadequate advice by local doctors, underdeveloped infrastructure, and seasonal extremities contributed to late admission to health care facilities. The participants indicated that mother's autonomy in haor to seek health care is a constraint. This capability analysis points towards relevant interventions. In addition to the need for an improved health infrastructure, programs to improve maternal and child survival in haor could focus on the gendered household responsibilities and poor communication between spouses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5781
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 10-Aug-2020

Cite this