Warsaw, Poland – Poland and the Czech Republic are among the 10 countries in the world where pregnant women are the least likely to die during childbirth.
According to a UNICEF report, Czech Republic and Poland rank among the safest countries for pregnant women to give birth.
With 2 deaths per 100,000 births in 2017 (latest data year available), Poland is the safest country in the world, tied with Norway, Italy and Belarus.
Also tied with Finland, Greece, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic comes right after with 3 deaths for every 100,000 births, ranking among the top 10 best countries where the mortality rate of pregnant women is the lowest.
But the situation worldwide is much grimmer: a pregnant woman or newborn child dies, somewhere in the world, every 11 seconds, warns the U.N. agency.
“A skilled pair of hands to help mothers and newborns around the time of birth, along with clean water, adequate nutrition, basic medicine and vaccines, can make the difference between life and death. We must do all it takes to invest in universal health coverage to save these precious lives”, said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director.
Gathering data from the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Division (UNFPA) and the World Bank, UNICEF estimates that 2.8 million pregnant women die every year in the world, stressing that most of them pass away “due to preventable and treatable reasons”, such as high blood pressure during pregnancy and serious bleeding or infections during or after childbirth.
In 2018, as many as 7,000 newborn child died every day – around a third on the day of birth and three quarters during the first week alone.
All but one of the ten countries where pregnant women are the most likely to die are located in Sub-Saharan Africa: South Sudan (1,150 deaths per 100,000 births), Chad (1,140), Sierra Leone (1,120), Nigeria (917), Central African Republic (829), Somalia (829), Mauritania (766), Guinea-Bissau (667), Liberia (661) and Afghanistan (638).