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Convention on the Rights of the Child

Maternal death

Every child has a right to life. Governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily.


UNICEF Image: Maternal Health UNICEF infographic, factograph
Globally, there were an estimated 289,000 maternal deaths in 2013, a decline of 45 per cent from 1990. Complications in pregnancy and childbirth are some of the leading causes of death for adolescent girls. Babies whose mothers die during the first six weeks of their lives are also far more likely to die in the first two years of life than babies whose mothers survive.

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Every newborn deserves a chance to live
“For millions…the day of birth is a day of death. Not a day of celebration, but of mourning. Very often for the child, and almost as often for the mother – half of maternal deaths also occur during the first 24 hours…UNICEF is determined to be part of the solution to this massive, unheeded daily disaster.” – Senior Adviser for Maternal and Newborn Health Dr. Kim Eva Dickson



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