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Happy Mother's Day- Sweden Best, Ethiopia Worst Place for Mothers and Children

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:21 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Childhood Survival, Vaccinations, Diarrhea, Children, Infants, Drug Products, Public Health Care

Sweden is the best place for mothers, Ethiopia the worst based on health care for their infants and attitudes toward mothers.



IMAGE SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons/ mother and child in Mumbai/ author: Wen-Yan King


Some mothers want cards and flowers for Mother’s Day. Some just want the basics in health care to ensure their little one will see another day and perhaps survive childhood.

In many developing nations, the basics like antibiotics can make the difference between life and death.

Save the Children has just issued its annual report on the best and worst places to be a mother and by implication to be an infant.

Sweden has been rated the world’s best place to be a mother by the U.S. based charity.

In a report assessing the well-being for mothers around the world, Save the Children considers longevity, the quality of drinking water, maternal leave from work, political participation of women and the mortality rate of youngsters under the age of five.

Scandinavia in all does well. Norway ranks second in the list of 146 countries followed by Iceland. 

Among the top 10 countries include New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Germany and France.

On the other end of the scale are countries where mothers face the greatest hardship.

Include Niger, Chad, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Angola, Guinea Bissa, Eritrea, Djibouti, Mali and Ethiopia.

In Mali last year, a 16-month-old boy named Yaya was treated for diarrhea by a village health volunteer, trained by Save the Children, who gave him oral rehydration salts, sugar, potassium and other nutrients. Just that simple solution is estimated to have saved 40 million children’s lives since the 1970s.

The annual report says about 200 million children lack basic health care and  10 million children die unnecessarily every year because they don’t receive immunizations, antibiotics, skilled care at childbirth, from diarrhea and pneumonia.

Among developing nations, the Philippines, Peru, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkmenistan do the best job of providing basic care. 

Among the worst are Laos, Yemen, Chad, Somalia and Ethiopia where 84 percent of children lack basic medical care.

In countries such as India and China there is also a gender gap that dictates survival.

Indian girls are 61 percent and Chinese girls are 30 percent more likely than boys to die before they reach their fifth birthday. 

The preference for sons is deeply rooted in both cultures which results in discrimination against girls in nutrition and preventive and curative health care.

The United States ranked 27th this year. Last year it was ranked 26th.

The report concludes that millions of lives could be saved by a coordinated effort to supply, train workers and equip more rural community health facilities.  #

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