A mother or newborn dies every 11 seconds
Since the turn of the century, the number of deaths among children under the age of five has also been cut almost in half to 5.3 million worldwide last year.
Child and maternal mortality rates may have seen a decline over the years, yet a mother or a newborn dies every 11 seconds during child birth globally. Statistics released by the United Nations on Thursday show that since 2000, child deaths have reduced by nearly half and maternal deaths by over one-third, mostly due to improved access to affordable, quality health services.
The number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth dropped by more than a third to around 295,000 in 2017, in comparison to 451,000 in 2000.
“In countries that provide safe, affordable, high-quality health services, women and babies survive and thrive,” World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
Since the turn of the century, the number of deaths among children under the age of five has also been cut almost in half to 5.3 million worldwide last year. While this marks an improvement, almost half of those deaths occurred during the first month of life, meaning that around 7,000 newborns still died every single day last year. Also, 800 women died each day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth in 2017, the UN numbers showed.
In all, the statistics reveal that an estimated 2.8 million women and newborns die every year, mostly from preventable causes.
In India, the overall infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR) have also come down over the years but the country is still losing new mothers and newborns annually. The current IMR of India is 33 per 1000 live births, having come down from 68 per 1000 live since 2000. Malnutrition is still the underlying risk factor for 68% of the deaths in under-five children in India, and is the leading risk factor for disease burden in persons of all ages considered together contributing 17% of the total disability adjusted life years. “We need to better focus on tackling malnutrition in India as it is one of the leading risk factors for death in children. We have made great strides but we need to do better,” said Save the Children India CEO Bidisha Pillai.
India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is 130 per 100,000 live births, drop from 254 per 100,000 live births in 2004.
“Around the world, birth is a joyous occasion. Yet, every 11 seconds, a birth is a family tragedy,” head of the UN children’s agency Henrietta Fore said in the statement.
Under the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has committed to trying to bring the global MMR to below 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.