Millions of Women, Babies Die Annually

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 13 (UPI) — An analysis shows 3.6 million newborns fail to survive their first month of life worldwide, a global scientific and advocacy group based in Switzerland found.

Countdown to 2015, a global scientific and advocacy movement formed in 2005 that tracks maternal and child deaths worldwide, found an estimated 350,000 to 500,000 women die in childbirth annually, 3.6 million newborns do not survive the first month, and an additional 5.2 million children die before age 5.

In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia an estimated 82 percent of pregnant women, newborns and child die annually.

“Because we know what causes these deaths and what would prevent them, major progress is possible,” Jennifer Bryce, a child health researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a member of the Countdown group, said in a statement.

“The Countdown analysis provides a road map, helping countries focus on their own data and take action to meet their specific needs.”

However, 135 countries have child mortality rates of less than 40 per 1,000 live births or they have reduced their child mortality rates enough to meet the goal of two-thirds reduction by 2015, but 39 countries have insufficient progress and 18 show no progress, UNICEF officials said.

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