Afghanistan worst country to have a baby

This video from the USA is called Stop the Afghan War.

From PakTribune in Pakistan:

Afghanistan worst place to have a baby: NGO

Sunday April 03, 2011 (0818 PST)

LONDON: Afghanistan is the worst place to have a baby in a world where one in three women worldwide gives birth without expert help, a study from UK charity Save the Children suggests, reported BBC.

The report It said women in the poorest countries were the least likely to have a skilled attendant present at delivery, were much more likely to lose their child and were the most likely to die during childbirth.

Rogul, 35, from Afghanistan`s Kabul province, said she`d had eight premature deliveries, losing all the babies, reports the BBC`s Paul Wood. The only help she had had was from an illiterate woman who said the bleeding would stop if she shook seven metal chains in a glass of water.

A ninth baby, which went to full term, also died a day after delivery. Rogul had not been given a simple tetanus vaccine. After I delivered him, his legs and arms turned green and he passed away, she said. Rogul has since trained as a midwife, teaching pregnant women in three villages about hygiene, diet, prompt breast feeding after birth and other simple practices which she says, have saved many lives. She has gone on to have three daughters and a son of her own.

It said if a global shortage of 350,000 midwives were met, more than one million babies a year could be saved. The charity urged world leaders to show the political will to improve access to midwives and healthcare globally. Save the Children, which is launching a campaign for more midwives, said more babies in poorer countries died from lack of oxygen at birth than from malaria. Each year 48 million women around the world give birth without expert help, the study found.

In Ethiopia, 94% of women gave birth without trained help, while in the UK the figure is only 1%, the charity said. In the UK – where there are 749,000 births a year – there are 26,825 working midwives, while in Rwanda, where 400,000 babies are born a year, there are only 46.

Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rates, with 52 in every 1,000 births ending in death. The report said Afghan women faced a one in 11 risk of dying from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. One in five children dies before the age of five. Many babies in Afghanistan die because of traditional practices, such as placing them on the floor to ward off evil spirits, which can cause infection, it said.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said no mother should face giving birth without help. It doesn`t have to be complicated. Someone who knows how to dry a baby properly and rub its back to help it breathe can make the difference between life and death. No child is born to die. Mr Forsyth called on governments around the world to put health workers at the heart of their plans.

World leaders pledged to do just that last year, but now they need to deliver the funds and political will to support this pledge. Without it, mums and babies will continue to die needlessly every day, he said.

USA: Black women 3 to 4 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women; quality of health care a factor: here.

China has slashed infant mortality rates by more than half since 1996, according to a report published today in the Lancet medical journal: here.

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