News Roundup: UNICEF report points to maternal health challenges, Sierra Leone reevaluates health system, and more

Tanzania remains dangerous for young moms — A new report on the State of the World’s Children lists Tanzania among the world’s countries with the highest rates of maternal mortality. Among other findings, it shows that pregnant girls under age 18 are five times more likely to die due to complications.

UNICEF releases maternal health survey results — A report released yesterday by UNICEF says that women in developing countries are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or for related reasons than women in industrial nations. While many of these countries have made progress in reducing child mortality, rates of mothers dying have remained largely unchanged.

Sierra Leone debates new health care plan — The government of Sierra Leone is busy deciding whether or not to implement a new health care plan that would combine national insurance with free care for the country’s most impoverished citizens. Responding to high maternal mortality rates, the plan would eliminate premiums for children and pregnant and lactating women.

USAID graduates maternal health workers — 24 health and population managers just graduated from a USAID training program, and will apply their new skills in the field to bring health support and family planning services to communities in Pakistan. The course was part of the agency’s $60 million Family Advancement for Life and Health program.


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