Maternal and newborn health 'improving in China'

Maternal and newborn health in China is improving, according to Unicef's State of the World's Children 2009 report, although the nation's mortality rate is still higher than some less developed countries'.

Unicef's Chinese language version of the report, published today (March 12th), shows that although around 7,000 Chinese women die in childbirth each year, this is 59 per cent down from the 1990 level, reports

As a result, the nation has already achieved its 2015 Millennium Development Goals on infant mortality.

However, the report highlights that the number of infant deaths per year in China is still the fifth highest in the world.

"China has made great progress, but the report highlights areas where further gains can be made in reducing maternal and infant mortality," Dr Yin Yin Nwe, Unicef representative to China, told the online news provider.

The State of the World's Children 2009 report also indicated that women in the world's least developed countries are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications than women in developed countries.