An August 2001 mission to Bangladesh by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on behalf of The Carter Center and the Washington, D.C.-based National Democratic Institute resulted in the first serious meeting in years between rivals in upcoming parliamentary elections, during which they made commitments to ensure a democratic and peaceful election.
In the early 1990s, President Carter became involved with the effort to free a young Bangladeshi girl who had been abducted—a victim of a notorious Pakistani slave trade. President Carter acted individually, as a renowned human rights advocate, in cooperation with the international effort on her behalf.
Until 1992, The Carter Center and the Task Force for Child Survival and Development worked in Bangladesh to reduce the incidence of neonatal tetanus, a primary cause of infant death during the first seven days of life in many countries.
Until 1992, The Carter Center and the Task Force for Child Survival and Development worked in Bangladesh to reduce the incidence of neonatal tetanus, or lockjaw. Caused by a toxin called Clostridium tetani, maternal and neonatal tetanus is a primary cause of infant death during the first seven days of life in many countries.
The Carter Center, in collaboration with government and local health professionals, studied the beliefs and practices of midwives to improve the education of mothers about the need for immunization. Studies also evaluated birthing techniques that might affect the risks of neonatal tetanus, such as unclean surgical instruments or the failure of midwives to wash their hands before performing a delivery.
The Center also worked to improve collaboration among local ministry of health staff and midwives to avoid unsafe birthing and neonatal care practices, to establish antiseptic delivery methods, and to refer pregnant women and mothers with histories of neonatal tetanus for immunizations.
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Size: 144,460 square kilometers
Population below poverty line: 31.5 percent
Life expectancy: 73 years
Ethnic groups: Bengali, tribal groups; non-Bengali Muslims
Religions: Muslim, Hindu, others
Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2015