To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that women have access to safe gynaecological care in Bangladesh.
The UK is a leading development partner in Bangladesh. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's (FCDO) 'Better Health in Bangladesh Programme' provides financial and technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh's national health sector programme. The programme helps to ensure that women have access to safe gynaecological care in Bangladesh through interventions including cervical cancer screening, post abortion care, midwifery training and technical assistance to strengthen Bangladesh's health system. It also aims to strengthen the Bangladeshi health system, including combatting issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and ending preventable deaths of mothers and new-borns. In targeted districts of Bangladesh, the FCDO tests new methods of cervical cancer screening and treatment, and provides basic emergency obstetric care. The UK's technical health assistance has also resulted in new midwifery training programmes in Bangladesh. The FCDO's £12.29 million midwifery programme has supported the training of 8,475 midwives, of which, 2,557 have been deployed in public primary health care facilities over the last five years. These midwives have assisted over 300,000 natural births, and served almost one million family planning users through post-partum and post abortion care.