More women and children survive today than ever before – UN report

20 September, 2019

- The driving factor of progress: improved access to affordable, quality health services through primary care and universal health coverage.

- Child deaths have nearly halved since 2000; maternal deaths are down by 1/3.

- In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 13 children die before turning 5, compared to 1 in 196 in Europe. The disparity is just as stark for maternal deaths.

- A clutch of nations have shown marked progress, including Belarus, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Cambodia.

More women and children survive today than ever before – UN report

Despite progress, a pregnant woman or newborn dies somewhere in the world every 11 seconds


NEW YORK/ GENEVA, 19 September 2019: More women and their children are surviving today than ever before, according to new child and maternal mortality estimates released today by United Nations groups* led by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Since 2000, child deaths have reduced by nearly half and maternal deaths by over one-third, mostly due to improved access to affordable, quality health services.

“In countries that provide everyone with safe, affordable, high-quality health services, women and babies survive and thrive,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “This is the power of universal health coverage.”...

“Around the world, birth is a joyous occasion. Yet, every 11 seconds, a birth is a family tragedy,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “A skilled pair of hands to help mothers and newborns around the time of birth, along with clean water, adequate nutrition, basic medicines and vaccines, can make the difference between life and death. We must do all it takes to invest in universal health coverage to save these precious lives.”...

Women in sub-Saharan Africa face a 1 in 37 lifetime risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth. By comparison, the lifetime risk for a woman in Europe is 1 in 6500. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia account for around 80% of global maternal and child deaths...


I was unable to locate the actual report. The press release points to "Download the reports, fact sheets, photos and soundbites from WHO"

As a general comment, we know a lot about medical causes of death but relatively little about preventable contributory factors (including, inter alia, access to essential healthcare information and knowledge) in health care across the continuum from home to facility.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with almost 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: