Pregnant Woman Or Newborn Dies Every 7 Seconds – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has discovered that one pregnant woman or newborn dies every seven seconds.

A report published on Tuesday attributed the increase in maternal and newborn deaths to decreasing investments in the sector.

The research on improving maternal and newborn health, survival, and reducing stillbirth assesses risk factors, causes, and the provision of critical health services.

The report shows progress in improving survival has stagnated since 2015, with around 290,000 maternal deaths each year.

Annually, there are about 1.9 million stillbirths (babies who die after 28 weeks of pregnancy) and 2.3 million newborn deaths.

More than 4.5 million women and babies die during pregnancy (childbirth or the first weeks after birth), equivalent to one death every seven seconds.

The new publication said COVID-19, rising poverty, and worsening humanitarian crises have intensified pressures on stretched health systems.

It expressed concern that just one in 10 countries (of more than 100 surveyed) have sufficient funds to implement their current plans.

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Southern Asia are the worst affected; below 60 per cent of women receive four of the WHO-recommended eight antenatal checks.

WHO Director of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, Dr Anshu Banerjee, decried how pregnant women and newborns die at high rates worldwide.

“We must do things differently. More and smarter investments in primary healthcare are needed so that every woman and baby have the best chance of health and survival,” Banerjee said.

Technical Division Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Julitta Onabanjo, said the death of any pregnant woman or young girl is a violation of human rights.

“It reflects the urgent need to scale up access to quality sexual and reproductive health services as part of universal health coverage and primary health care,” Onabanjo added.

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