Infant mortality: every 11 seconds a baby or pregnant woman dies
From 2000 estimates reduced by over a third, but 2.8 million deaths remain each year
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Share19 September 2019 From 2000, child deaths fell by about half and maternal deaths by more than a third. Nevertheless, about 2.8 million pregnant women and newborns die each year, which means: one every 11 seconds, mainly due to preventable causes.
These are the new estimates on maternal and child mortality launched by a group of UN agencies led by UNICEF and WHO.
The world has made substantial progress in reducing the mortality of children under 15 and in maternal age: the number of deaths of children under the age of 15 has decreased by 56% (from 14.2 million to 6.2 million in 2018) . From 2000 to 2017 the maternal mortality rate fell by 38%. In Italy the mortality rates of children have decreased steadily: in 1990 the neonatal mortality rate was 6 dead babies per 1,000 live births, in 2018 it was 2.
But in 2018 6.2 million children under the age of 15 died, and in addition, in 2017, around 290,000 women died due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Of the total number of child deaths, 5.3 million occurred in the first 5 years, of which about half were in the first month of life.
The numbers, however, say that today, although an ever increasing number of women and children are surviving, there are more vulnerable during and immediately after birth. Children in particular face the risk of major death during the first month, especially if they are born too early or too small, have birth complications, congenital malformations or contract infections. About a third of these deaths occur on the first day and about three quarters only in the first week.
Inequalities in the health world
"In countries that provide high quality, affordable and safe health services for all, women and children survive and grow," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO. "In the world, birth is a chance for joy "But every 11 seconds, a birth is a family tragedy," said Henrietta Fore, Director General of UNICEF, who then spurs: "We must do everything necessary to invest in universal health coverage to save these precious lives."
Estimates show wide inequalities in the world, with women and children in sub-Saharan Africa facing risks of dying substantially more than all other regions. Maternal mortality levels are about 50 times higher for women in sub-Saharan Africa and their children are 10 times more likely to die in their first month of life than in high-income countries.
The countries that have made the greatest progress, with an 80% decline in the deaths of children under 5 are Belarus, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Morocco, Mongolia, Rwanda, Timor-Leste and Zambia. Their success is due to the political will to improve access to quality health care by investing in the health workforce and introducing free care for pregnant women and children.
In 2018, 1 child out of 13 in sub-Saharan Africa died before his fifth birthday - with a risk 15 times greater than a child in Europe, where only 1 in 196 dies less than 5 years old. In Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, the highest rate of neonatal mortality (first 28 days of life) was found, 28 children died every 1,000 live births, followed by central and southern Asia with 25 dead babies per 1,000 live births. The risk for a woman in sub-Saharan Africa to die during pregnancy or childbirth during her life is 1 in 37; in Europe it is 1 in 6,500. In Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia there are about 80% of maternal and child deaths worldwide. Women face the greatest risks of dying during pregnancy or childbirth in South Sudan, Chad, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and Somalia.
Europe and North America
Here is one of the lowest mortality rates of children under the age of 5 in all regions, 54% of all deaths under the age of 5 occur in the neonatal period. In Italy the mortality rates of children have decreased steadily: in 1990 the neonatal mortality rate was 6 newborns died every 1,000 live births, in 2018 it was 2. The mortality rate under 1 year fell by 8 children died each 1,000 born alive in 1990 to 3 in 2018; the mortality rate under 5 years was reduced from 10 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 3 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018: The risk of dying between 5 and 14 years rose from 2 to 1 child per 1,000 in that age group.