On average, one woman in 30 is likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, and seven out of 10 women will lose a child in their lifetime. Despite global improvements in children’s and maternal health, inequality between the world’s richest and poorest mothers and children is widening.
In two-thirds of the 36 developing countries among the 179 nations surveyed, the poorest urban children are at least twice as likely to die as their wealthier counterparts, according to the report.
“There has been a fatalistic acceptance from both communities and governments,” Professor Joy Lawn, a Ugandan-born paediatrician at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told AllAfrica in a telephone interview.
Save the Children want governments to issue declarations on ending preventable newborn mortality, and said they would present their action plan to government ministers.
Retention of midwives, especially in rural areas, is a major challenge for many countries, one that threatens to negate all the hard work and resources invested in their training.
Despite the well documented benefits of breastfeeding worldwide, only 39 per cent of children aged less than six months were exclusively breastfed in 2012. This global figure has improved very little for the past several decades.
The charity compared factors such as maternal health, child mortality, education and income in 176 countries.
For the first time, the charity has compiled a separate index on newborn deaths. While deaths of children under five around the world have come down substantially in recent years, there has been little progress on newborns.
"Delivering mobile-assisted awareness to pregnant mothers and traditional birth attendants could reduce prenatal and maternal mortality by up to 30 percent," according to the report.
Children Five Times More Likely to Die in Countries Hit by Health Worker Crisis, Save the Children Finds
A new index by Save the Children has ranked the best and worst countries for a child to fall sick in — with Chad and Somalia at the bottom and Switzerland and Finland at the top. The bottom-ranked countries on the new index have extreme health worker shortages.