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Help Save Mothers & Babies

Each year, millions of women worldwide give birth without the help of a trained health worker. These births often take place at home, where the risk of infection is high. Infection is a leading cause of death among these women and their infants. The clean-delivery kit is a simple approach to reducing this risk. There is no such thing as “routine” pregnancy or childbirth in places like this, where a complication during pregnancy, an emergency at birth, or an infection at the start of life too often spirals into tragedy. Every year, 300,000 women and 2.7 million newborns die during the brief window between the start of pregnancy and the end of a baby’s first month.

Key Statistics

  • Neonatal Mortality Rate: 34 per 1,000 live births;
  • Infant Mortality Rate: 70 per 1,000 live births;
  • Under-5 Mortality Rate: 119 per 1,000 live births;
  • Maternal Mortality Rate: 591 per 100,000 live births;
  • 45 percent of Children under 5 are Stunted (Chronically Malnourished);
  • 28 percent of Children under 5 are Underweight;
  • Only 47 percent of births are attended by a skilled health worker;
  • More than half (51 percent) of the women do not receive any postnatal care;

In Zambia, only 47 percent of births are attended by a skilled health worker at health institutions. Home delivery is high (53 percent). Communities in rural areas have limited access to health care. It is currently, estimated that in urban areas approximately 99 percent of households are within 5 kilometres of a health facility, compared to 50 percent in rural areas. Further, socio-cultural factors compound families’ health care seeking behaviour such that many children are taken late to health facilities and pregnancy is not given special care. Knowledge about post natal care is low. Knowledge and practice on infant and young child feeding practices are low. (UNICEF website). These same factors pose an even greater risk for infants who will be vulnerable to infections and other dangers.

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