The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 116 million babies have been born since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on Thursday called for governments to maintain lifesaving services for pregnant women and newborns that are under increasing threat from strained health services and supply chains.
Around two-thirds of sexually active women surveyed in a new UN study indicated that although they wished to avoid or postpone having children, they had stopped relying on contraception out of concern for how it was affecting their health. As a result, around a quarter of all pregnancies are unplanned.
Every year, 2.7 million babies die within the first month of life and roughly the same number are stillborn, according to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As most of these deaths go unrecorded, countries cannot fully understand what action needs to be taken to prevent more infants from dying.
Dianne Penn reports on how WHO is “Making Every Baby Count.”
A virus that could result in devastating birth defects has now spread to at least 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a branch of the World Health Organization.
The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos. Its most common symptoms are a mild fever and skin rash accompanied by joint or muscle pain. It’s not thought to be fatal, but health experts becoming increasingly concerned about how the virus could affect unborn babies.
Impressive drop in maternal mortality rates
Maternal mortality rates worldwide have dropped by almost 44 per cent over the last 15 years. That’s according to a report released by the United Nations. The report indicates that maternal deaths around the world fell from about 532,000 in 1990, to an estimated 303,000 this year. Maternal mortality is defined as a woman’s death caused by pregnancy, childbirth or within 6 weeks of having a baby. Veronica Reeves has the story.
Sri Lankan maternity hospital reborn after 2004 tsunami