May 04, 2010, 12.11 PM IST
Mothers in Norway and Australia are in the best nations in the world to bring up their children while mothers in Afghanistan and many African nations fare worst, according to an annual Mothers' Index
The 11th annual Save The Children index, which ranks the best and worst places to be a mother, looks at the well-being of women and children in 160 countries which includes access to education, economic opportunities, and health care.
The list last year was headed by
In the bottom 10,
The 2010 list of 43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world highlighted the fact that nearly 350,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth every year and nearly 9 million children die before their fifth birthday.
"Conditions for mothers and their children in the bottom 10 countries are grim. On average, 1 in 23 mothers will die from pregnancy-related causes. One child in 6 dies before his or her fifth birthday, and 1 child in 3 suffers from malnutrition," said a statement from Save The Children.
"While the situation in the United States needs to improve, mothers in the developing world are facing far greater risks to their own health and that of their children," Mary Beth Powers, vice-chair of Save The Children's Every One campaign, said in a statement.
"The shortage of skilled birth attendants and challenges in accessing birth control means that women in countries at the bottom of the list face the most pregnancies and the most risky birth situations, resulting in newborn and maternal deaths."
Save The Children said:
* Fewer than 15% of births are attended by skilled health personnel in
* A typical female in
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