Catastrophic’ healthcare costs that put mothers and newborns at risk
Pregnant women are putting their lives and their babies at risk because of “catastrophic” and prohibitive healthcare costs before, during and after childbirth, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said on Monday.
Her comments accompany a new report highlighting how few of the world’s poorest pregnant women have a doctor, nurse of midwife at their side when they need them.
According to the UN Children’s Fund, more than five million families across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean spend at least 40 per cent of their non-food household expenses for the entire year just on maternal health services.
And it says than 800 women die every day from complications, while yet more mothers live with “debilitating” outcomes.
Compared with most rich countries, where a skilled birth attendant is present at almost all deliveries, the tally drops significantly in least developed countries, the UNICEF research shows.
These States include Somalia, where professionals are present in less than one in 10 births, and South Sudan, where only one in five deliveries is assisted.
UNESCO chief condemns journalist killing in Chad
To Chad now, where the killing of reporter Obed Nangbatna brings to 19 the number of journalists killed around the world so far in 2019.
Mr. Nangbatna, who was 42, worked for public broadcaster Télé Tchad; he was fatally wounded when the military convoy he was with hit a landmine which also killed four soldiers late last month.
He was reportedly travelling to the northern side of Lake Chad to cover the aftermath of an attack on army positions by Nangbatna extremists.
In a statement condemning the attack, Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay appealed for better safety for journalists in conflict situations including the Lake Chad region, and for safety protocols to be “fully respected”.
Canada exhibition set on awakening need for sustainability
And finally, an original take on the issue of sustainability: an art exhibition that’s been inspired by the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Goals that the international community adopted in 2015.
Installed temporarily in the UN Palace of Nations by the Mission of Canada, “Awakening” features deceptively complicated works by Canadian and indigenous artists.
One of them is a large photograph of a huge open copper mine, with a seemingly beautiful turquoise lake at the bottom.
It’s actually a toxic “tailing pond” that’s full of chemicals and other mining byproducts, as Tara Lapont from the Canada Council for the Arts explains:
“What strikes you in this work is that it’s beautiful to look at it, you see colour variation, you see texture…but wh en you realize what you’re looking at - in this case a copper mine from Utah - you also realize this is the impact of man, scraping away at the natural landscape for its own purposes, and that gorgeous pool of green is in fact a tailing pond, so not really so beautiful but rather dangerous to us.”
Accompanying the exhibition is a series of essays underscoring the urgency of achieveing each of the Sustainable Development Goals, composed by leading international figures including UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and former head of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.