The World Health Organisation (WHO) has ranked Nigeria as the second country with the highest number of maternal, neonatal and child deaths globally.
The latest report by WHO, released on May 9th, revealed that India accounts for 17% of global maternal, neonatal deaths and stillbirths, with 788 deaths per thousand in the same year while Nigeria accounts for 12% of global maternal, neonatal deaths and stillbirths, with 540 women and children dying “per thousands” in 2020.
Eight other countries with high maternal, neonatal and stillbirths are Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
The report titled “Improving maternal and newborn health and survival and reducing stillbirth: Progress Report 2023”, reveals that maternal and infant mortality rates in Nigeria have stagnated since 2015, with approximately 290,000 maternal deaths occurring annually.
The report also highlights that more women died in Nigeria from pregnancy-related issues than in India or any other country in 2020, with 82 women dying per thousand.
The WHO has warned that over 60 countries might miss the maternal, newborn, and stillborn mortality reduction targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, based on current trends.
The report attributes the crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing poverty, worsening humanitarian conditions and inadequate funding from some countries.