The world has 'unacceptable' maternal and infant mortality rates

The global infant and maternal mortality rates are "unacceptable", the United Nations (UN) chief has said.

Arriving in the African nation of Nigeria for a visit, Ban Ki-moon said the high number of maternal and infant deaths is down to poor health systems the world over.

"Unfortunately around the world, health systems are not working for women and children. A thousand women die every day from complications, pregnancy and childbirth," he said.

The UN secretary general said the majority of these deaths can "be easily prevented".

He praised the Nigerian government for its efforts in improving children's and women's health through increasing the number of healthcare service providers, such as midwives, in the country.

According to UN statistics, reported by AFP, around 145 women die during pregnancy or childbirth every day in Nigeria, meaning it has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world.

However, the latest data from the World Health Organization recently revealed that worldwide, maternal mortality rates have dropped by around 3.3 per cent a year since 2000.