“South Africa ranks 176 out of 193 countries for stillbirth numbers and 148 for stillbirth rate,” the SA Medical Research Council’s (MRC) quoted on its website from The Lancet’s series of articles.
“Improving quality of care at birth and targeting disparities are key priorities for action,” it said.
The Lancet’s report was the first ever official estimate of global stillbirths and showed that 2.6 million babies were stillborn world-wide every year.
The study was conducted in partnership with the World Health Organisation.
“Every day more than 7,300 babies are stillborn globally,” the report found.
“In South Africa over 61 babies are stillborn each day. These stillbirths are in addition to 58 newborn deaths every day, and yet newborn, child and maternal deaths count in national and global goals, but stillbirths do not.”
The Lancet reported that stillbirths had declined globally by only 1.1 percent a year, from three million in 1995 to 2.6m in 2009, which was slower than reductions in child and maternal mortality.
“In South Africa, the average rate of decline has only been 0.9 percent per year, from an estimated 25,000 stillbirths in 1995 to 23,000 stillbirths in 2009.”
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