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World progress on child and maternal health measured

Friday September 20th, 2019

The world has made substantial improvements in child and maternal health this century, according to a major analysis.

Deaths of children have halved and deaths of mothers reduced by a third since 2000, according to the United Nations report.

The report says there is still much more to do. In 2017 more than 290,000 died during pregnancy or childbirth while last year there were 6.2 million child deaths.

More than two million children died in the first month of life.

The report says women and children in sub-Saharan Africa face the greatest risks.

The countries that have made the greatest progress include Belarus, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Morocco, Rwanda and Zambia, the report says.

World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “In countries that provide everyone with safe, affordable, high-quality health services, women and babies survive and thrive. This is the power of universal health coverage.”

UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said: "A skilled pair of hands to help mothers and new-borns around the time of birth, along with clean water, adequate nutrition, basic medicines and vaccines, can make the difference between life and death.

"We must do all it takes to invest in universal health coverage to save these precious lives.”

Tags: Africa | Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Women's Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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