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Poor nations’ health systems must be boosted to improve maternal and newborn health, Unicef says

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b120 (Published 15 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b120
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Health systems in poor countries, especially in Africa and south Asia, need to be substantially strengthened to improve care of the newborn and to reduce mortality in women during pregnancy and childbirth, a Unicef report says. “Every year more than half a million women die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications, including about 70 000 girls and young women aged 15 to 19,” said Ann Veneman, Unicef’s executive director.

    “Since 1990, complications related to pregnancy and childbirth have killed an estimated 10 million women,” she said.

    The report says that most maternal and neonatal deaths can be averted through interventions that have been proved to work.

    Essential services that are needed, it says, include better nutrition and safe water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities; adequate …

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