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Save-the-Children Nigeria ranks low in a list of countries for maternal and infant mortality, so says a London-based charity — State of the World’s Mothers — research. It states that, “While 43 percent of under-5 deaths are newborns, only 6 percent of aid dollars for maternal, newborn and child health go to newborn-sensitive activities, and only 0.1 percent of these dollars go to programs exclusively benefitting newborns. While increasing, donor support for newborn health does not always reflect individual countries’ share of the global newborn death burden.” “For example: Haiti, Indonesia and Nigeria received roughly the same amount of aid for newborn survival programs in 2008 (the most recent year for which data are available), but Nigeria has about 4 times the newborn deaths of Indonesia and 40 times the newborn deaths of Haiti. Nigeria received $9 million in aid for newborn health in 2008, roughly $1 per newborn.” “In many developing countries, stillbirth deaths are not counted, but rates are thought to be highest in Pakistan and Nigeria (47 and 42 per 1,000 births, respectively). In Nigeria, nearly 1 woman in 5 has no one – not even a family member or friend – to help her during childbirth. Nigeria — in 2011 — had the second highest burden of first day deaths with 89,700 deaths, or 8.6% of the global total.  The United States has over half a million preterm births each year – the sixth largest number in the world (after India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Indonesia).” “Nigeria not only has high levels of newborn mortality, but large disparities in how this affects people of different income levels. Passage of a National Health Bill and approval from the executive branch to become law would provide a national framework for huge gains in reducing newborn mortality and preventable child and maternal deaths, in a country that accounts for 11 percent of global child deaths.” Surviving the First Day Nigeria ranks 169, amongst the 176 countries studied, and was sandwiched between other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, like DRC, 176, Somalia, 175, Sierra Leone, 174, Mali, 173, Niger, 172, CAR, 171, Gambia, 170, Chad, at 168 and Cote D’Ivoire  at 167. These countries rank low for survival beyond the first day of birth, and for the first 1000-days. In Nigeria, Under-5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) was 124.1 — in 2011,  Lifetime risk of maternal death was 29 — in 2010. “By investing in mothers and children, nations are investing in their future prosperity,” said Jasmine Whitbread, Save the Children International’s Chief Executive. “If women are educated, are represented politically, and have access to good quality maternal and child care, then they and their children are much more likely to survive and thrive – and so are the societies they live in,” she said. Top 10                                            Bottom 10 RANK     Country                       RANK     Country 1                 Finland                         167          Côte d’Ivoire 2                 Sweden                         168          Chad 3                 Norway                        169          Nigeria 4                 Iceland                         170          Gambia 5                 Netherlands               171         Central African Republic 6                Denmark                       172          Niger 7                Spain                              173            Mali 8                Belgium                         174          Sierra Leone 9                Germany                       175         Somalia 10             Australia                        176        DR Congo

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This article was first published on 7th May 2013

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