Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 09 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Juan Diego
Aleteia logo
News
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Almost 2 million babies are born dead in one year, according to new report

KOBIETA W CIĄŻY

Liderina | Shutterstock

Zelda Caldwell - published on 10/09/20 - updated on 10/09/20

A joint UN and WHO report finds that vast majority of stillbirths occur within poorer countries, and, with quality health services, would be completely preventable.

A joint report from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) says that nearly two million babies were born dead in 2019. The study found that stillbirths disproportionately affect poorer countries, and that the number of babies born dead has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic’s disruption in health care services.

As reported in Vatican News, the study, entitled “A Neglected Tragedy: The Global Burden of Stillbirths,” found that 84 percent of stillbirths occur in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

A stillbirth is defined as when a baby is born dead at 28 weeks of gestation of more.

“Losing a child at birth or during pregnancy is a devastating tragedy for a family, one that is often endured quietly, yet all too frequently, around the world,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “Every 16 seconds a mother somewhere will suffer the unspeakable tragedy of stillbirth… For many of these mothers,” she said, “it simply didn’t have to be this way,” she said.

The report found that in 2019 about half of the world’s stillbirths took place in sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Southern Asia, while only 6 percent of the total occurred in Europe, Northern America, Australia and New Zealand.

About 40 percent of stillbirths were found to have occurred during labor, leading researchers to conclude that they would have been preventable, given proper health care worker training and timely emergency care.

According to WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “the tragedy of stillbirth shows how vital it is to reinforce and maintain essential health services, and how critical it is to increase investment in nurses and midwives.”

The disruption in health care services due to the coronavirus lockdown was seen to exacerbate the problem of stillbirths.

The report’s authors estimate that a 50 percent reduction in health services could cause nearly 200,000 additional stillbirths over a 12-month period in 117 low- and middle-income countries.

Vatican News notes that data collected from 9 hospitals in Nepal for a study published in The Lancet Global Health in August showed that stillbirths increased during the lockdown. At the beginning of the lockdown, in late March,there were 14 stillbirths per 1,000 births. There were 21 stillbirths per 1,000 births by the end of May.

Tags:
CoronavirusHealthcarePoverty
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.