The birth of a child should be a time of wonder and celebration. But for millions of mothers and babies in developing countries, it is a dance with death.
In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Save the Children is publishing its 14th annual State of the World’s Mothers report. Every year, nearly 3 million babies die within the first month of life, most from preventable causes. More than a third of these babies die on their first day of life making the birth day the riskiest day for newborns and mothers almost everywhere. This report shows which countries are doing the best and which are doing the worst at preventing these deaths. It also examines the need to strengthen health systems, train and equip more health workers and make proven, underused solutions available to every mother and newborn who needs them. Such efforts could help prevent as many as 3 out of 4 newborn deaths.
The first-ever Birth Day Risk Index compares first-day death rates for babies in 186 countries to identify the safest and most dangerous places to be born. The annual Mothers’ Index uses the latest data on women’s health, children’s health, educational attainment, economic well-being and female political participation to rank 176 countries and show where mothers and children fare best and where they face the greatest hardships.