Pregnant woman or newborn dies every 11 seconds: UN

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Rohit Shishodia
A United Nations report has revealed that a pregnant woman or a newborn die every 11 seconds across the world due to various complications after delivery. The UN said that this is happening despite progress in treatment methods for pregnant women and newborn.

The new child and mortality estimates found that around 2.8 million pregnant women and infants die every year, or 1 every 11 seconds.

The report has revealed that 6.2 million children under 15 years died in 2018, and over 290000 women died because of complications during pregnancy and childbirth in 2017.

The report has found that children remain at the highest risk of death within the first month of their birth. They die when they are born too small or too soon. Such children have complications including congenital defects and contract infections. About a third of these deaths occur within the first day and nearly three quarters in the first week alone, reads the report.

Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, said that birth is a joyous occasion across the globe. Yet, every 11 seconds, a birth is a family tragedy, she added.

Fore pointed out that skilled manpower for treating mothers and infants around the time of birth and measures including clean water, adequate nutrition, basic medicines and vaccines, can make the difference between life and death.

The report, however, has found that child deaths have reduced by nearly half and maternal deaths by over one-third since the year 2000, mostly due to improved access to affordable, quality health services.


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