Bangladesh, with a population of 160 million and per capita income of US$1,480 (2017), has achieved a number of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for health, nutrition, and population (HNP) outcomes. Child and maternal mortality, as well as fertility rates, have continued to decrease over the past decade, although progress on child undernutrition has been slower. As a result, Bangladesh prioritized addressing malnutrition and maternal, under-five and neonatal mortality, to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and accelerate progress toward universal health coverage.

However, financing gaps, governance challenges and system management weaknesses still constrain the effective use of increased spending to achieve these health objectives. In addition, while Bangladesh has made significant progress in increasing health service coverage and improving health results, the country prioritizes further enhancing gains made – in immunization coverage, for instance – improving quality of care and reducing persisting socio-economic and geographic inequalities. Urban health, climate change and adolescent health are also prioritized to lead the country toward universal health care.