The state of the world's children 2009: maternal and newborn health

19 Jan 2009

This report examines the current state of maternal and neonatal health, explores the fundamentals of a supportive environment for mothers and newborns, and outlines ways to strengthen efforts in support of primary health care.

According to the report, women in the world’s poorest countries are more 300 times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than women in Australia and other developed countries. This alarming disparity represents one of the greatest indicators of the gulf between rich and poor in our world today. The 2009 edition of UNICEF’s flagship publication shows that a mother in Timor-Leste has a one in 35 chance of dying in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications compared to Australian women who face a one in 13,300 risk.

The report highlights the importance of establishing a continuum of maternal and newborn care framework and the imperative of strengthening health systems and working together. Africa and Asia are a key focus of this report, which complements the previous year’s issue on child survival.

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