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Save the Children, an international NGO released State of the World Mother Report

May 12, 2014 10:50 IST

Save the Children an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) released its 15th annual report on State of the World’s Mother on 5 May 2014 to commemorate the International Mother’s Day. In the Report, India has been ranked 105 out of 178 countries.

Highlights of the report
• Finland tops the index while Somalia is at the bottom of the list. The United States is ranked 31 among 178 countries. US had been continuously ranked in the top 5 in past 15 years.
• Developed countries like Spain, New Zealand and Denmark had seen an increase in lifetime risk of maternal death. The poorest people suffer most from natural disasters and 95 percent of disaster fatalities occur in developing countries.
• Greatest challenges for mothers were armed conflicts especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
• Afghanistan moved up 32 places in 2014 though it was ranked as the worst place to be a mother in 2010 and in 2011. This improvement is due to investment in midwife training, changing policies in education and immunization programs and other health measures for young children.
• Pakistan is ranked 147 and is one of the toughest places in South Asia for mother. It is more vulnerable to natural disaster which causes a spike in malnutrition, school dropouts and a decrease in usage of paid health services.
• More than 250 million children under age 5 live in countries affected by armed conflict.
• The poorest people suffer most from natural disasters – 95 percent of disaster fatalities occur in developing countries.
• 56 percent of maternal and child deaths take place in fragile settings.
• Worldwide, women and children are up to 14 times more likely than men to die in a disaster.
• The average refugee situation lasts 17 years.
• For every person killed directly by armed violence, between 3 and 15 die indirectly from diseases, medical complications and malnutrition.
• On average, countries in conflict have less than half the minimum number of recommended health workers.
• More than 80 percent of the high mortality countries unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for mothers’ and children’s survival have suffered a recent conflict or recurring natural disasters or both.
Top 10 & Bottom 10 Ranks in the Mother’s Index

Ranks

Top 10 Countries

Rank

Bottom 10 Countries

1

Finland

169

Cote d’Ivoire

2

Norway

170

Chad

3

Sweden

171

Nigeria

4

Iceland

172

Sierra Leone

5

Netherlands

173

Central African Republic

6

Denmark

175

Guinea-Bissau

7

Spain

175

Mali

8

Germany

176

Niger

9

Australia

177

DR Congo

9

Belgium

178

Somalia

Recommendations
• National and International actors need to ensure that every mother and newborn living in crisis has access to high quality health care.
• Investment in women’s economic and income generating activities and in girls education is needed that will ensure their protection.
• Donors need to ensure political engagement and adequate financing, coordination and research around maternal and newborn health in crisis settings.
• Build longer term resilience to minimize the damaging effects of crises on health.
• Design emergency interventions with a longer term view and the specific needs of mothers and newborns in mind.
About the Composite Mother’s Index
Save the Children’s 15th annual Mothers’ Index assesses the well-being of mothers and children in 178 countries – 46 developed nations and 132 in the developing world. All countries with populations over 100000 and sufficient data are included in the Index.
The Complete Mothers’ Index, based on a composite score of five indicators related to maternal well-being. These are:
• Maternal health — Lifetime risk of maternal death
• Children’s well-being — Under-5 mortality rate
• Educational status — Expected years of formal schooling
•  Economic status — Gross national income per capita
• Political status — Participation of women in national government

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