One stillbirth occurs every 16 seconds, according to first ever joint UN estimates

8 October, 2020

Extract below. Full text here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-10-2020-one-stillbirth-occurs-ev...

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One stillbirth occurs every 16 seconds, according to first ever joint UN estimates

8 October 2020

Almost 2 million babies are stillborn every year – or 1 every 16 seconds – according to the first ever joint stillbirth estimates released by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank Group and the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs...

“Losing a child at birth or during pregnancy is a devastating tragedy for a family, one that is often endured quietly, yet all too frequently, around the world,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “Every 16 seconds, a mother somewhere will suffer the unspeakable tragedy of stillbirth. Beyond the loss of life, the psychological and financial costs for women, families and societies are severe and long lasting. For many of these mothers, it simply didn’t have to be this way. A majority of stillbirths could have been prevented with high quality monitoring, proper antenatal care and a skilled birth attendant.”

The report warns that the COVID-19 pandemic could worsen the global number of stillbirths. A 50 per cent reduction in health services due to the pandemic could cause nearly 200 000 additional stillbirths over a 12-month period in 117 low- and middle-income countries...

Most stillbirths are due to poor quality of care during pregnancy and birth... Over 40 per cent of stillbirths occur during labour—a loss that could be avoided with access to a trained health worker at childbirth and timely emergency obstetric care...

"Welcoming a baby into the world should be a time of great joy, but every day thousands of parents experience unbearable sadness because their babies are still born,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “The tragedy of stillbirth shows how vital it is to reinforce and maintain essential health services, and how critical it is to increase investment in nurses and midwives.”...

The report link will go live after 00.01 GMT 8 October: http://uni.cf/stillbirthreport

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org