Afghanistan: The toughest place to be a mother

Every mother in Afghanistan is at risk of suffering the loss of a child; the solution: train health workers

Save the Children’s new index, released today, compares the well-being of mothers and children in 164 countries. Norway, Australia and Iceland top the rankings this year, while 8 of the 10 worst countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa, with Afghanistan as the world’s worst.

Despite ongoing conflict, expecting mothers in Afghanistan are at least 200 times more likely to die in birth than by a bomb or bullet. One in 11 Afghan women will die from pregnancy or childbirth complications in her lifetime and only 14 percent of mothers in the country give birth with help from any kind of skilled health worker. In Norway, by comparison, the risk of maternal mortality is only 1 in 7,600 and nearly all births are attended by skilled help.

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