Save the Children recently released their 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report, and the United States did not rank well. In fact, the US slipped to 33rd out of 179 surveyed countries.
From Save the Children’s press release:
The report indicates that women in the United States face a 1 in 1,800 risk of maternal death. This is the worst level of risk of any developed country in the world. An American woman is more than 10 times as likely to eventually die in pregnancy or childbirth as a Polish woman. And an American child is just as likely to die as a child in Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia.
Among 25 of the wealthiest capital cities surveyed around the world, Washington, D.C. has the highest infant mortality rate, and the study found that babies from the District’s poorest wards are dying at much higher rates than the city’s high average.
Not surprisingly, the top-ranked countries are a reverse image of the bottom-ranked countries. Those ranked lowest, all but two of them from West and Central Africa, reflect political and economic instability, armed conflict and poor governance. Norway topped the list as the best place for mothers.
Save the Children’s report also reveals a harrowing reality for urban moms and their children living in poverty throughout the developing world:
- In two-thirds of the countries surveyed, the poorest urban children are at least twice as likely to die as the richest urban children.
- The disparity in child survival rates between the rich and poor in urban areas has widened over roughly the past two decades in nearly half of the 40 developing nations surveyed.
- According to the report, in 60% of developing nations surveyed, city children living in poverty are more likely to die than those living in rural areas.
- The 10 countries with the greatest survival divide between wealthy and poor urban children are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, India, Madagascar, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda and Vietnam. In these countries, children from poor families are 3 to 5 times as likely to die as children from wealthy families.
There is some good news in the report as well. A number of cities are making significant gains for the poorest children. These cities – including Addis Ababa (Ethiopia); Cairo (Egypt); Guatemala City (Guatemala); Kampala (Uganda); Manila (Philippines); and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) – are working to increase access to basic maternal, newborn and child services; raise health awareness; and make care more affordable and accessible to the poorest urban families.
The State of the World’s Mothers report also includes several recommendations from Save the Children, including a commitment to “equitably ending preventable child and maternal deaths with measurable targets,” improving the health of urban poor by ensuring universal health coverage and an investment in data collection.
If you have some time, the report is worth reading. I have no doubt you will learn something new.
- Download the 16th Annual State of the World’s Mothers Report
- Read the Executive Summary
- Get the Complete Mothers’ Index 2015
- Take Action
- Read: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Release of 2015 State of the World’s Mothers Report by @SaveTheChildren #sowm #worldmoms #MomsMatter (via World Moms Blog)
What surprises you most about the information in this post?
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