Thinking through women’s wellbeing

Thinking through women’s wellbeing: 

Why do women not get the care they need? Poor women in remote areas are the least likely to receive adequate health care. This is especially true for regions with low numbers of skilled health workers, such as sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The main factors that prevent women from receiving or seeking care during pregnancy and childbirth are:

a. poverty
b. distance to facilities
c. lack of information
d. inadequate and poor quality services
e. cultural beliefs and practices.

To improve maternal health, barriers that limit access to quality maternal health services must be identified and addressed at both health system and societal levels.
In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), countries have united behind a new target to accelerate the decline of maternal mortality by 2030. SDG 3 includes an ambitious target: “reducing the global MMR to less than 70 per 100 000 births, with no country having a maternal mortality rate of more than twice the global average”.

Facts and figures on children

Deaths among children

  • In 2018 an estimated 6.2 million children and adolescents under the age of 15 years died, mostly from preventable causes. Of these deaths, 5.3 million occurred in the first 5 years, with almost half of these in the first month of life.
  • Leading causes of death in children under-5 years are preterm birth complications, pneumonia, birth asphyxia, congenital anomalies, diarrhoea and malaria. Nearly half of these deaths are in newborns.
  • More than half of these early child deaths are preventable or can be treated with simple, affordable interventions including immunization, adequate nutrition, safe water and food and appropriate care by a trained health provider when needed.
  • Children in sub-Saharan Africa are more than 15 times more likely to die before the age of 5 than children in high income countries.
    Credit: WHO

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