40m women 'give birth without trained help'

Approximately 40 million women around the world give birth without trained assistance, new figures have revealed.

According to Save the Children, this is a particularly big problem in Ethiopia, as skilled help is on hand in just ten per cent of births.

The charity warned there are also problems in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as the cost of emergency maternal care is often the same as a mother's monthly food bill.
Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said: "Too many mothers give birth alone on the floor of their home or in the bush without life-saving help."

He stated that many of these deaths could have been prevented if a skilled specialist had been on hand to ensure the birth could proceed safely and who knew how to cope with a crisis.
Mr Forsyth added that while the solutions to these problems are well-known, more political will is needed to ensure babies survive beyond the first 24 hours of life.