Africa: ' worst place to be a mother'

Posted: 4 May 2005

Africa is the worst place in the world to be a mother or a child, says Save the Children USA. Its report on The State of The Worlds Mothers 2005 studies 110 countries and ranks them in a Mothers Index, indicating the best and worst places to be a mother.

Of the ten worst countries to be a mother or a child, seven were African. Mali, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia were ranked the worst countries in terms of health and education.

Scandinavian countries came out as the best places in the world to be a mother or a child. An Ethiopian child is 37 times more likely to die in its first year than a child born in Sweden.

The report recommended that education, access to family planning services, contraception and trained midwives were the key to boosting child survival.

In the United States, 71 per cent of women use modern contraceptive methods, one in 2,500 mothers dies in childbirth and seven in 1,000 new born babies die per year.

In Mali where only six per cent of women use modern contraceptive methods, one in ten mothers die in childbirth and one in eight infants die before their first birthday.

Charles MacCormak, President of Save the Children USA said: "The Mothers Index clearly shows that the quality of childrens lives is inextricably linked to the health and education of their mothers."