Unicef highlights childbirth risk in developing countries

A new Unicef report has found that a child born in a developing country is 14 times more likely to die within the first month of its life than one in a developed nation.

Maternal health figures in the State of the World's Children report also found that mothers in less developed countries are 300 times more likely to die during childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications.

Unicef estimates that 99 per cent of pregnancy-related deaths occur in the developing world, with Niger, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone the worst countries statistically for maternal and newborn health.

Ann M Veneman, Unicef executive director, said over 500,000 women die each year "as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications".

She added: "Saving the lives of mothers and their newborns requires more than just medical intervention. Educating girls is pivotal to improving maternal and neonatal health and also benefits families and societies."

UNICEF recently launched a new preventative care campaign aimed at children under five and women of child-bearing age across Somalia.