Mother and Child Health

The Issue

UNICEF in Action


The Issue

© UNICEF/GEO-2005/IMG_2258/Amurvelashvili
Ia Makatsaria with her newborn child Constantine at the Baby Friendly maternity house "Orioni", December, 2005

Children and their families have limited access to quality healthcare services. This is the major cause of most maternal and child health related problems. The number of children dying in their early neonatal period has been on the rise since 1998.

Georgia’s official statistics continue to indicate relatively low levels of maternal mortality (52 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004) by international comparison, although this rate remains one of the highest in the region. Bleeding and septicemia continue to account for a major percentage of maternal deaths.

Neonatal mortality, namely early neonatal mortality, continues to account for 67 per cent of infant deaths (41 per 1,000 live births in 2004). Birth trauma and respiratory distress in perinatal period are the leading causes of deaths in the first 28 days of newborn lives.

The mortality rate for children under five years of age, according to official statistics, comprised 45 in 2004. The mortality rate from five years onward is mainly conditioned by respiratory diseases, traumas and poisoning.

According to the 2004 joint assessment of the situation by UN partners and the Government, low awareness of beneficiaries and communities in addition to limited accessibility and affordability of quality health services, account for the majority of mother and children health-related problems.

Total breastfeeding rates in maternities have remained consistent at about 97 per cent while exclusive breastfeeding rate for four months stands at 18 per cent. Majority of mothers stop breastfeeding during the child’s first two months of life, citing insufficient milk as a main reason.



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