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Save The Children Index Measures Reach Of Health Care Workers, Ranks Best And Worst Countries For Child Health

A new index (.pdf) released Tuesday by Save the Children measures the nationwide reach of health workers and ranks the best and worst countries for a child to fall sick in, with Chad and Somalia at the bottom and Switzerland and Finland at the top, according to a Save the Children press release (9/6). According to the analysis, “[c]hildren living in the 20 countries at the bottom of the index … are five times more likely to die than those further up the index, Save the Children said,” AlertNet reports (Batha, 9/6). The study also highlights countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, according to Reuters (Kelland, 9/6).

The index, which comes ahead of this month’s U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, at which advocates plan to lobby world leaders to end the global health worker shortage, measures not only how many health workers there are but also their success at reaching children, according to Sarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog in the Guardian (9/6). The WHO, which calls for a minimum of 23 health workers for every 10,000 people in order to deliver essential maternal and child health services, estimates the global health worker shortage at more than 3.5 million, the press release notes (9/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.