Report revels a shocking 7,000 stillbirths occurring daily

Posted on | april 21, 2011 | No Comments

A report from the World Health Organization indicates that some 2.6 million stillbirths occur every year globally, with more than 90% of them in low or middle income countries. With an estimated 7,000 stillbirth every day, with majority of such cases happening in Sub- Saharan African countries including Uganda. The report estimated that almost half of the stillbirths, 1.2 million, occur when the woman is in labor. The largest reason for the high stillbirth rate, was due to complications during pregnancy combined with a lack of available skilled medical care, the study found. The report was published by The Lancet medical journal as part of series of studies published in the journal by researchers from the World Health Organization. The series of studies addresses stillbirth rates and causes in all countries, and challenges policy makers to act to cut the rate in half by 2020.

The report draws much needed attention to a global health issue that has fallen off the radar and who’s impact is undoubtedly overlooked. The report shockingly reveals that stillbirths have only declined by a small margin, 1.1 percent per year, between 1995 and 2009.

“Stillbirths are the last big invisible global health issue,” Dr. Joy Lawn of Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children, a lead author of the stillbirths series, stated to reporters (AlertNet/Reuters).

Additionally, an estimated15 percent of pregnancies are likely to develop life-threatening complications, resulting in the need for, however in many countries there is no access for many women, such as in Uganda where only 24 percent have access.

“If every woman had access to a skilled birth attendant, a midwife, and if necessary a physician for both essential care and for procedures such as emergency caesarean sections, we would see a dramatic decrease in the number of stillbirths,” said Dr Carole Presern, the director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child health (Daily Monitor).

The series of reports in the Lancet will hopefully draw much needed attention to a global health issue that has been silently ignored for all too long. The reports and their findings will hopefully increase efforts by global health officials and states to increase services, training and procedures to ensure that these preventable deaths do not have to occur and in the next few years we will begin to see a dramatic decrease in the numbers of reported stillbirths across the globe.

AUTHOR: Cassandra Clifford
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E-MAIL: Cassandra [at]


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