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Save the Children: Toughest and easiest countries to be a mother

Monday, May 06, 2013 - 01:26

May 7 - A report from Save the Children reveals the best and worst places to give birth. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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Labour pains in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to a report on Tuesday by charity Save the Children, it's the toughest place on earth to be a mother. The State of the World's Mothers 2013 report ranks countries by how safe they are for mothers and newborns. The index is based on access to health care, education and economic opportunity. Finnish mothers stand the highest chance of their babies thriving, with Finland ranked No 1. Of 179 countries rated, Nordic nations swept the top spots, while Southern African countries made up the bottom ten. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISHBEL MATHESON, SPOKESWOMAN, SAVE THE CHILDREN, SAYING: "Since 1990 the child mortality globally has dropped by forty percent, that is extraordinary success, but there are a number of key challenge that remain and one of them is around newborns. A million newborn babies are still dying every year." Many of these deaths could be prevented by introducing simple, low-cost healthcare plans. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISHBEL MATHESON, SPOKESWOMAN, SAVE THE CHILDREN, SAYING: "There is a technique called Kangaroo Care which is used widely in Malawi, and that means if a mum gives birth prematurely, instead of a hi-tech solution, going to put the baby in an incubator, very simply the mum takes the baby onto the chest and cuddles it very close, skin to skin contact to give it that warmth, she becomes the natural incubator." In South Asian nations such as Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan and here in Nepal, child marriage and poor nutrition for mothers are factors in the region's slow progress in reducing newborn deaths. And in the U.S., ranked 30th, a girl is ten times more likely to die from complications in childbirth than a girl in Singapore, which is ranked 15th.

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Save the Children: Toughest and easiest countries to be a mother

Monday, May 06, 2013 - 01:26