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Save The Children Releases Annual Global Mother’s Index

Afghanistan is “the worst place to be a mother, with women having a life expectancy of 45 years – the world’s lowest – and one of every 11 women dying in childbirth,” according to Save the Children’s annual State of the World’s Mothers report, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports.

Norway tops the list as the best place in the world for mothers, followed by Australia and Iceland. “Released every year in the days before Mother’s Day, the international nonprofit group’s ranking analyzes the maternal and child indicators and other published information of 164 countries,” the news service writes (Snow, 5/2). Eight out of 10 of the world’s worst countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report, according to a press release from Save the Children. “In many countries, vaccines, antibiotics, and care during pregnancy are hard to reach and as a result child and maternal death rates are very high,” Mary Beth Powers, head of Save the Children’s newborn and child survival campaign, said (5/3).

Midwife Day Highlights Global Shortage Of Caretakers

There is a global shortage of 350,000 midwives, Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UNFPA, said in statement marking the International Day of the Midwife, set for May 5, the Nairobi Star/allAfrica.com reports. “Osotimehin said as a result of the shortage, women and their newborn babies die from complications that would be prevented by a health worker with skills, right equipment and support,” the publication writes (Gichana, 5/2).

“More than one in three women in developing countries give birth alone – or with only relatives to oversee what is one of the most dangerous passages they will ever undergo. In some of the poorest countries, as few as 13 percent of all deliveries are assisted by a midwife or a health worker with midwifery skills,” according to the statement. Osotimehin said that funding human resources for health is “one of the soundest investments a county can make” (5/5).

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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.